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Attachment Styles as a Predictor of Adult Romantic Relationships

A further development of the study by Hazan & Shaver (1987). College students (N=374, 62 male and 212 female, mean age 18, mainly single) were examined using self-report questionairres. Attachment was measured using Hazan and Shaver's Adult Attachment Questionnaire (1987).  Attachment style was related to attachment history, beliefs about relationships, personal love style, duration of romantic relationships, self-esteem, avoidance of intimacy, limerance and love addiction.

  Secure Avoidant Anxious/Ambivalent
(Hazan & Shaver, 1987)
55% 30% 15%
Attachment History 
Adapted from Hazan and Shaver (1987)
Positive perceptions of early family relationships. Most likely to report child-hood separation from mother. Less likely to report father as supportive.
Love Experience 
Love relationships lasted longest. More likely to have never been in love and not be in a relationship at time of study.  Lower intensity of love experiences. Love relationships lasted shortest.
Love Measures 
Scored higher on self-esteem and self-confidence. Scored lower on self-consciousness. Scored higher on avoidance of intimacy.  Scored high on dependence, unfulfilled neurotic love and a little higher on obsessive preoccupation. Scored low on circumspect love.
Love Attitude Hendrick & Hendrick (1986) n/s Scored lower on agape. Scored high on mania and low on storge.

Attachment style was also compared to personal style of loving as proposed by Lee (1973).  Results indicated that avoidant individuals tended towards ludus and pragma while anxious/ambivalent individuals tended more towards mania and agape.  Gender differences were found with men scoring higher on agape and reliance on partner whilst women scored higher on storge, obsessive preoccupation and circumspect love.

The authors concluded that “this suggests attachment style is likely to exert a very pervasive influence on the individual’s relationships with others, because it reflects general views about the rewards and dangers of interpersonal relationships.” (p. 286)

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Printed from the Attachment Theory Website ( on 20/04/2014 02:11:00