Note: Corrections added on 6 January 2012 after first publication online on 19 October 2011: The page number for this article should be Page 1219–1249 (not 917–947), and have been corrected in the online version of this article.
Anxious Attachment and Relationship Processes: An Interactionist Perspective
Version of Record online: 19 OCT 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Personality © 2011, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Personality
Special Issue: Understanding How Personality Operates in the Social World
Volume 79, Issue 6, pages 1219–1250, December 2011
How to Cite
Campbell, L. and Marshall, T. (2011), Anxious Attachment and Relationship Processes: An Interactionist Perspective. Journal of Personality, 79: 1219–1250. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00723.x
- Issue online: 16 NOV 2011
- Version of Record online: 19 OCT 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 7 FEB 2011 08:03AM EST
Relationship processes in adult romantic relationships have been vastly studied under the aegis of attachment theory. Attachment theory is interactionist in nature, proposing that individual differences in levels of both attachment avoidance and anxiety predict an individual's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in contexts that activate attachment concerns. A growing body of research is beginning to systematically test the conditions in which individual differences in attachment orientations both predict and fail to predict relationship processes. In this article, we focus on anxious attachment and review a program of research showing that the potentially destructive relationship processes typically observed in highly anxious individuals do not always appear in neutral or benign contexts, or when security needs are met. We argue that research needs to more thoroughly investigate the conditions that should, or should not, activate attachment concerns and thus result in links between individual differences in attachment orientations and relationship processes.