Attachment-anxiety and identification with groups: Strategic shifts in self-definition in response to relationship threat

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Abstract

We propose a model documenting the relationship between interpersonal attachment style and identification with groups. We hypothesized that following threat to a romantic interpersonal relationship higher attachment anxiety would be associated with lowered tendencies to identify with groups. In two Studies using varied social groups we observed support for this hypothesis. In Experiment 1 we found that participants higher in attachment anxiety identified less with a salient ingroup after imagining a distressing argument with their romantic partner. In Experiment 2 we replicated these findings using an implicit measure of social identification and additionally observed a moderating role for attachment avoidance. We discuss the implications of these findings for theoretical models of interpersonal attachment and social identification. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume45
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

Keywords

  • Attachment, Interpersonal relations, Social identification