Adult Attachment Orientations and Anger Expression in Romantic Relationships: A Dyadic Analysis

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Abstract

The current study examined how the gender and adult attachment orientations of romantic relationship partners contribute to each participant's experience and expression of anger in their relationship. Specifically, we collected data from both members of a heterosexual relationship to examine how a person's adult attachment orientation influences their own, and their partner's, anger-related behavior. In addition, we examined whether one partner's responses to another's anger predicted the other's anger-related response tendencies. Furthermore, we explored the contribution of participants' sex to their own and their partners' anger-related behavior. Hypotheses were tested using the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model (APIM), a data analytic strategy that takes into account the nonindependence of dyadic data. Results yielded partial support for theory-based predictions about the influence of adult attachment orientations on anger-related reactions and accommodation behavior. The implications of these findings for counseling practice and future research are discussed.

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