Accommodation and attachment representations in young couples

  • Scharfe E
  • Bartholomew K
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Abstract

In a prospective study, we examined the relationship between internal representations of attachment and accommodation. Participants consisted of both members of established young couples (N = 128; mean age = 24.4 years at time 1; mean relationship length = 47 months at time 1). Participants were administered the Peer Attachment Interview and a relationship satisfaction scale twice over 8 months. At time 2, participants completed the Accommodation Scale to assess responses to potentially destructive behavior by romantic partners. Current and previous attachment representations predicted the use of accommodation strategies. In particular, security was associated with the use of constructive accommodation strategies and fearfulness was associated with the use of destructive accommodation strategies. With few exceptions, the pattern of correlations between attachment ratings and accommodation responses was the same after the effects of relationship satisfaction were partialled out. The results suggest that accommodation may be one avenue through which attachment representations contribute to the quality of relationships.

Author-supplied keywords

  • adult attachment
  • conflict strategies
  • relationship satisfaction

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Authors

  • Elaine Scharfe

  • Kim Bartholomew

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