Psychological and Physiological Predictors of Health in Romantic Relationships: An Attachment Perspective



This article reviews the burgeoning literature linking greater individual differences in attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance to poorer health. Extant research indicates that more anxiously and avoidantly attached individuals experience heightened psychological (e.g., distress) and physiological (e.g., HPA axis activation) responses to stressful situations, as well as have poorer mental (e.g., depression) and physical (e.g., immune system functioning) health. Research also suggests that perceived social support processes are sometimes beneficial for more anxiously and avoidantly attached persons' mental health, but are not helpful in alleviating physiological responses to stress. Future studies could fruitfully delve into the possible dyadic influences on health and interventions to improve the health experiences of more anxiously and avoidantly attached individuals. Lastly, future research could benefit from longitudinal explorations of health.