Love imagined: Working models of future romantic attachment in emerging adults

Authors

  • JONATHAN MOHR,

    Corresponding author
    1. George Mason University
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    • Jonathan Mohr, Department of Psychology, George Mason University; Rachel Cook-Lyon, Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education, Brigham Young University; Misty R. Kolchakian, Department of Psychology, Mount San Antonio College.

  • RACHEL COOK-LYON,

    1. Brigham Young University
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    • Jonathan Mohr, Department of Psychology, George Mason University; Rachel Cook-Lyon, Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education, Brigham Young University; Misty R. Kolchakian, Department of Psychology, Mount San Antonio College.

  • MISTY R. KOLCHAKIAN

    1. Mount San Antonio College
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    • Jonathan Mohr, Department of Psychology, George Mason University; Rachel Cook-Lyon, Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education, Brigham Young University; Misty R. Kolchakian, Department of Psychology, Mount San Antonio College.


  • A portion of these findings was presented at the 111th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, ON, Canada, August 2003.

Jonathan J. Mohr, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, e-mail: jmohr@psyc.umd.edu.

Abstract

An attachment theory perspective guided this investigation of emerging adults' (N = 174) expectations regarding relational patterns in their future long-term romantic relationships. Participants' working models of future romantic attachment were assessed by having them respond to an attachment measure with respect to an imagined future committed relationship. Dimensions of future attachment predicted participants' anticipated relationship dynamics in the imagined relationship, their focus on closeness and abandonment when writing about having a future long-term relationship, and their change in state anxiety over the course of the study. These effects of future attachment remained statistically significant after controlling for current global attachment, parental caregiving sensitivity, and conflict between parents; most of these effects were not moderated by current dating status.

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