Adult attachment dimensions and recollections of childhood family context: associations with dispositional optimism and pessimism



The present study tested the theoretically inferred but not yet empirically tested association between dispositional optimism–pessimism and attachment security among 423 Finnish women and men. A second-order latent variable representing a generalized representation of attachment insecurity in close relationships that included two latent constructs, the one representing romantic adult attachment dimensions and the other representing recollections of attachment-related childhood family relationship, was associated with greater pessimism; the adult attachment dimension of high anxiety had unique and additional explanatory power, not accounted for by the generalized representation of attachment-related insecurity. The model explained 48% of the variance in pessimism. The results clearly emphasize that additional studies are needed to clarify the role of interpersonal processes in dispositional optimism–pessimism. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.