This article is part of the first author's Ph.D. dissertation, which was completed under the direction of the second author. This research was partially supported by an Army Research Office AASERT Grant (#30235-RT-AAS). Address correspondence to Laura K. Guerrero, Department of Speech Communication, 234 Sparks Building, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.
Attachment Styles and Reactions to Nonverbal Involvement Change in Romantic Dyads Patterns of Reciprocity and Compensation
Article first published online: 17 MAR 2006
Human Communication Research
Volume 22, Issue 3, pages 335–370, March 1996
How to Cite
GUERRERO, L. K. and BURGOON, J. K. (1996), Attachment Styles and Reactions to Nonverbal Involvement Change in Romantic Dyads Patterns of Reciprocity and Compensation. Human Communication Research, 22: 335–370. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.1996.tb00371.x
- Issue published online: 17 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 17 MAR 2006
Attachment-theory principles suggest that those with different attachment styles will react to nonverbal involvement change in a manner consistent with their approach/avoidance orientations and mental working models of self and others. It was hypothesized that preoccupieds initially reciprocate increases in involvement, but compensate for decreases, whereas dismissives initially compensate for increases in involvement, but reciprocate decreases. A second hypothesis predicted that over time interactants reciprocate both increases and decreases in nonverbal involvement. Partners in enduring romantic relationships participated in two separate conversations. Between conversations, one member of each dyad was enlisted as a confederate who increased or decreased nonverbal immediacy and positive affect in the second conversation. Results indicated that, regardless of attachment style, targets reciprocated confederate behavior in the increase-involvement condition and displayed behavior indicative of both compensation and reciprocity in the decrease-involvement condition. However, preoccupieds showed the strongest pattern of reciprocating increases in involvement and compensating for decreases in involvement. Results also demonstrated a pull toward reciprocity over time. Findings are interpreted in light of the bidimensional model of distancing and interaction adaptation theory, with results most supportive of the latter theory.