Conflicting Pressures on Romantic Relationship Commitment for Anxiously Attached Individuals
Article first published online: 11 JAN 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Personality © 2011, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Personality
Volume 79, Issue 1, pages 51–74, February 2011
How to Cite
Joel, S., MacDonald, G. and Shimotomai, A. (2011), Conflicting Pressures on Romantic Relationship Commitment for Anxiously Attached Individuals. Journal of Personality, 79: 51–74. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00680.x
- Issue published online: 11 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 11 JAN 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 17 AUG 2010 12:30PM EST
ABSTRACT Anxious attachment predicts strong desires for intimacy and stability in romantic relationships, yet the relation between anxious attachment and romantic commitment is unclear. We propose that extant literature has failed to find a consistent relation because anxiously attached individuals experience conflicting pressures on commitment. Data from Australia (N=137) show that relationship satisfaction and felt security each act as suppressors of a positive relation between anxious attachment and commitment. Data from Japan (N=159) replicate the suppression effect of felt security and also demonstrate that the residual positive relation between anxious attachment and commitment can be partly explained by dependence on the partner. These findings suggest that anxiously attached individuals may be ambivalent about commitment. Dissatisfaction and worries about negative evaluation appear to exert downward pressure on commitment, counteracting the upward pressure that is exerted by factors such as relational dependency.