The Effects of Attachment Style on Adult Romantic Relationships

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The Effects of Attachment Style on Adult Romantic Relationships


Abstract
Individual attachment style and its effects on adult romantic relationships were examined. The hypothesis of this literature review was that insecure attachment style would negatively affect the overall dynamic of adult romantic relationships while secure attachment would promote positive and healthy romantic relationships. Empirical studies looking at attachment style and relationship issues such as one’s views of self and others, communication, sexual intimacy, childhood family dynamic and God were evaluated. Reviews of studies were in line with the hypothesis indicating that insecure attachment does negatively affect the overall dynamic of romantic relationships while secure attachment tended to promote more positive, healthy relationships. However, it was also found that insecure styles are not always stable and can present themselves in various highs and lows. Another new insight was that of differential parental affection and how it can create problems for both siblings whether they were favored or not. Also, the effect God can have as an attachment figure in a person’s life was addressed along with God’s possible ability to change a person’s attachment style from insecure to secure and this affect on relationships. While these were the overall conclusions of the studies researched, more longitudinal examinations need to be done with larger amounts of participants to get true population accuracy and to take into effect life changes that occur long-term. Also, more research is needed to look into the effects of religion on a person’s attachment style and whether a person’s attachment style can actually be changed by a new relationship with God.  

The Effects of Attachment Style on Adult Romantic Relationships

Introduction
The ability to form positive, healthy, romantic relationships has been a topic of investigation for many years. Studies have examined the similarities of one’s adult romantic relationships with that of their childhood relationships with their caregivers. This literature review looks at current empirical studies examining the correlation between secure and insecure attachment styles and how these styles play out in adult romantic relationships. The hypothesis going into this review was that insecure attachment style would negatively affect the overall dynamic of adult romantic relationships while secure attachment would promote positive and healthy romantic relationships. First, this paper examines how adults with different attachment styles view themselves and others, as well as communicate with each other in their relationships. Next, an examination of how couple’s sexual intimacy plays out and their commitment based on attachment style is inspected. After that, the effect of differential parental affection of one’s siblings is examined. Finally, how religion can affect one’s attachment style and one’s romantic relationships is assessed.

Attachment Styles
John Bowlby first introduced the idea of attachment as a way for infants to feel safe and secure and avoid predators (Feldman, 2011). Infants generally attach most to their mothers or to whoever is their main caregiver. Children learn from this attachment about the rest of the world and how they are to navigate it. According to the Ainsworth Strange Situation, which built on Bowlby’s theory (Feldman, 2011), one year olds usually show either secure attachment or insecure attachment patterns to their caregivers. Securely attached children tend to have positive, trusting relationships with their caregiver. They feel at ease when their caregiver is present, upset when they leave, and go to them immediately upon their return. Insecurely attached children show one of three different attachment styles; avoidant, anxious or disorganized-disoriented. The avoidant types are indifferent to and avoid interactions with their caregivers. They do not seek...
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