Attachment Differences in Support Proiders' Physiological Reactivity in Support Discussions
thesisposted on 2014-05-01, 00:00 authored by James M. Colmer
This study explored the effects of attachment orientation on support-providers’ physiological reactivity during discussions of their spouse’s greatest fear and their spouse’s most important goal. We hypothesized that anxious support-providers would show greater physiological reactivity when providing goal support, avoidant support-providers would demonstrate higher reactivity when providing fear support, and secure people would remain stable across both types of support discussions. To examine this, we studied 100 married couples in which one member had recently retired, we assessed attachment orientation, and collected biometric data during two types of support discussions. The final results indicated decreased reactivity for anxious supportproviders and increased reactivity for avoidant support-providers during the fear discussion, and an interaction effect between anxiety and avoidance predicting reactivity during the goal discussion.