How Attachment Styles Moderate the Impact Social Network Members have upon Romantic Relationships
Denson, Jayne Kathryn
AdvisorSinclair, H. Colleen
Eakin, Deborah K.
Research has established that network members’ opinions do impact romantic relationship outcomes. The present study examined whether attachment styles moderate the impact social network members have upon relationship satisfaction and commitment. Participants were primed to activate one of three attachment styles, and then read one of 6 vignettes describing a hypothetical relationship experiencing approval/disapproval from friends/family. After reading, participants completed measures to indicate how satisfied and committed they would be in the hypothetical relationship. Thus, the study employed a 3 (Type of opinion: approval, disapproval, no opinion) x 2 (Source of opinion: parent, friend) x 3 (Attachment prime: secure, anxious, avoidant) factorial design. Analyses revealed that supportive network opinions increase relationship satisfaction and commitment relative to relationships facing disapproval. However, the impact of disapproval was not significantly different from knowing nothing about the network’s perception. No other effects emerged, perhaps due to the failure of the attachment prime.