A Causal Model of The Direct and Indirect Impact of Insecure Attachment Styles on Romantic Relationship Satisfaction Mediated by Emotion Regulation Strategies and Psychological Distress
Keywords:Emotion Regulation Strategies, Psychological Distress, Romantic Relationship Satisfaction, Insecure Attachment Styles
Influences of emotion regulation strategies (i.e. cognitive reappraisal, expressive suppression) and psychological distress were analyzed along direct and indirect association of insecure attachment styles (i.e., anxiety, avoidance) and romantic relationship satisfaction. N = 1,033 Thai adult participants who presently residing or working in Bangkok and being in romantic relationship were studied. Their age ranged from 18 to 60 years old (mean age 33.40, ±SD 10.72). Thai-translated versions of the instruments Experiences in Close Relationship Scale-Short Form (ECR-S), Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ), Outcome Questionnaire (OQ), and Relationship Assessment Scale (RAS) were used when collecting data and had achieved sound psychometric properties (i.e. reliability, convergent validity, and discriminant validity). Study of Path analysis upon SEM revealed that insecure attachment styles affected psychological distress and reduced romantic relationship satisfaction. Also, cognitive reappraisal was found to indirectly affect relationship satisfaction with distress cutback, and that expressive suppression could cushion insecure attachment and safeguard the relationship, despite a distress backfire.
Ainsworth, M. D., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: Assessed in the strange situation and at home. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss: Attachment. New York: Basic Books.
Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss: Vol. 2. Separation: Anxiety and anger. New York: Basic Books.
Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment (2nd ed.). New York: Basic Books. (Original work published 1969).
Cassidy, J., & Berlin, L. J. (1994). The insecure/ambivalent pattern of attachment: Theory and research. Child Development, 65, 971–981.
Cassidy, J., & Kobak, R. R. (1988). Avoidance and its relationship with other defensive processes. In J. Belsky & T. Nezworski (Eds.), Clinical implications of attachment (pp. 300–323). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P. R. (1999). Handbook of attachment theory: Theory, research, and clinical applications. New York: The Guilford Press.
Cheung, R. Y. M., & Park, I. J. K. (2010). Anger suppression, interdependent self-construal, and depression among Asian American and European American college students. Cultural Diversity.
Dan-Glauser, E. S., & Gross, J. J. (2013). Emotion regulation and emotion coherence: Evidence for strategy-specific effects. Emotion, 13(5), 832–842.
English, & John. (2013). Understanding the Social Effects of emotion regulation: the mediating role of authenticity for individual differences in suppression. Emotion, 13(2), 314-329.
Euromonitor. (July 2011). Consumer Lifestyles in Thailand. from Euromonitor International.
Fonagy, P. (2001). Attachment theory and psychoanalysis, New York: Other Press.
Gross, J. J., & John, O. P. (Eds.). (2003). Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 348–36
Hazan, C., & Shaver, P. (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 511–524.
Keltner, D., & Kring, A. M. (1998). Emotion, social function, and psychopathology. Review of General Psychology, 2, 320–342.
Main, M., & Solomon, J. (1986). Discovery of an insecure-disorganized/disoriented attachment pattern. In M. W. Yogman, W. Michael, & T. B. Brazelton (Eds.), Affective development in infancy (pp. 95–124). Westport, CT: Ablex.
Mallinckrodt, B., & Wei, M. (2005). Attachment, social competencies, social support, and psychological distress. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(3), 358–367.
Main, M. (1991). Metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive monitoring, and singular (coherent) vs. multiple (incoherent) model of attachment: Findings and directions for future research. In C. M. Parkes, J. Stevenson-Hinde, & P. Marris (Eds.), Attachment across the life cycle (pp. 127–159). London: Tavistock /Routledge.
Matsumoto, D., Yoo, S. H., & Nakagawa, S. (2008). Culture, emotion regulation, and adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(6), 925–937.
Mauss, I. B., & Butler, E. A. (2010). Cultural context moderates the relationship between
emotion control values and cardiovascular challenge versus threat responses. Biological Psychology, 84, 521–530.
Mesquita, B., Leersnyder, J. D., & Albert, D. (2014). The Cultural Regulation of Emotions. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of Emotion Regulation (2 ed., pp. 284-301). New York: The Guilford Press.
Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2003). The attachment behavioral system in adulthood: Activation, psychodynamics, and interpersonal processes. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 35, pp. 53–152). New York: Academic Press.
Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2007). Attachment in adulthood: Structure, dynamics, and change. New York: Guilford Press.
Mikulincer, M., Gillath, O., & Shaver, P. R. (2002). Activation of the attachment system in adulthood: Threat-related primes increase the accessibility of mental representations of attachment figures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 881–895. doi:10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2061
Nation multimedia. (2014, April 15). Divorce rate up 27 per cent over past decade. The Nation. Retrieved from http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/ Divorce-rate-up-27-per-cent-over-past-decade-30231495.html
Nimkannon, O. (2014). Influence of emotion regulation and empathy on the parenting behavior of Thai parents: A path analytical model (Unpublished master’s thesis). Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Rime', B. (2007). Interpersonal emotion regulation. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of Emotion Regulation (pp. 466–482). New York: Guilford Press.
Shaver, P. R., & Mikulincer, M. (2002). Attachment-related psychodynamics. Attachment and Human Development, 4, 133–161.
Shaver, P. R., & Mikulincer, M. (2007). Adult attachment strategies and the regulation of emotion. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 446–465). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Soto, J. A., Perez, C. R., & Kim, Y.-H. (2011). Is expressive suppression always associated with poorer psychological functioning? A cross-cultural comparison between European Americans and Hong Kong Chinese. Emotion, 11(6), 1450–1455.
Sperling, M. B., & Berman, W. H. (Eds.), (1994). Attachment in adults: Clinical and developmental perspectives. New York: Guilford Press.
Tori, C., & Bilmes, M. (2002). Multiculturalism and psychoanalytic psychology: The validation of a defense mechanism measure in an Asian population. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 19(4), 701–721.
Tsai, J. L., Knutson, B., & Fung, H. H. (2006). Cultural variation in affect valuation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90, 288–307.
Tsai, J. L., Miao, F., Seppala, E., Fung, H. H., & Yeung, D. (2007). Influence and adjustment goals: Mediators of cultural differences in ideal affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1102–1117.
Zohar, S. (2012). Influence of cultural values on emotion regulation and well-being: A study of Thai university students. AU Journal, Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand.