Attachment insecurity and perceived importance of relational features

D. Ren, X.B. Arriaga, E.R. Mahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic attachment insecurity can affect the outlook people have on relationships. This research examines how attachment insecurity relates to perceived importance of various features in a romantic relationship (e.g., intimacy, independence). Consistent with predictions, the results from Studies 1–3 (N1 = 53, N2 = 226, N3 = 196) revealed that greater attachment anxiety was associated with ranking intimacy higher in importance and independence lower, whereas attachment avoidance was associated with ranking independence higher, intimacy, and trust lower. Study 4 (N4 = 175) further showed that insecure participants recognized that some of their priorities are unique to themselves and not shared by others. Additionally, they did not perceive their current relationships as having more of the relational features they prioritized. Insecure individuals thus have unique relational priorities, which may direct their romantic judgments and decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446–466
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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