We are grateful to Perri Timmins, Malcolm McCamish, and John Gardner for their help with design, data collection, and data analysis. This work was supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council to J. A. Feeney, C. Gallois, D. J. Terry, and M. McCamish.
Attachment Style, Assertive Communication, and Safer-Sex Behavior1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 29, Issue 9, pages 1964–1983, September 1999
How to Cite
Feeney, J. A., Kelly, L., Gallois, C., Peterson, C. and Terry, D. J. (1999), Attachment Style, Assertive Communication, and Safer-Sex Behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29: 1964–1983. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1999.tb00159.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
This research tested the proposition that the effect of attachment security on safer-sex practice may be mediated by communication patterns. One hundred eighty-five undergraduate students completed questionnaire measures of attachment, assertiveness, and attitudes to communication about AIDS. Eight weeks later, they reported on their practice of safer sex in the period since the first testing session. Hierarchical regressions showed that at Step I, anxiety about relationships (a measure of insecure attachment) was associated with less safer-sex practice, for all outcome measures. Attitudes to communication about AIDS added to the prediction of general reports of safer-sex practice: in line with the mediational model, anxiety about relationships became unimportant as a predictor when communication variables were included. Communication variables failed to add to the prediction of safer sex on the most recent encounter, and both anxiety about relationships and attitudes to communication about AIDS predicted condom use. Some gender differences in patterns of prediction were noted. The results are discussed in terms of attachment style and its links with the negotiation of sexual practice and relationship issues.