Presentation on theme: "Davis, Shaver, & Vernon (2003)"— Presentation transcript:
1 Davis, Shaver, & Vernon (2003) Physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions to breaking up: The roles of gender, age, emotional involvement, and attachment styleDavis, Shaver, & Vernon (2003)
2 IntroductionAnxious attachment associated with negative physical & emotional responses upon relationship dissolutionFew studies have examined behavioural responses & individual differencesPURPOSE: examine dysfunctional reactions to breakups among attachment stylesDistress/preoccupationAmbivalent acting outCoping & resolutionFew studies have shown that attachment anxiety is associated with enhanced distress upon breakups. This study serves to expand on this scarce literature by examining attachment-related reactions to breakups ranging from stages of distress through coping to eventual (or as you’ll soon see, lack thereof) resolution.
3 Adult Attachment Regulation of Distress Secure Anxious Avoidant Adaptive copingUnderstanding perspectiveAvoidantFewer emotional expressionsGreater emotional avoidanceAnxious‘Coercive’ strategyAggression & SeductionAdult attachment theory – I know we have gone through the theory of attachment a number of times now, so I will just briefly recap the strategies of adult attachment stylesAn individuals attachment stystem is activated during times of distress to either self, attachment figure, or challenging situaitions which the person may be motivated to find a secure baseAttachment and the regulation of distress is what characteristics of each attachment style we expect to see in the context of relationship dissolution
4 Attachment Perspective on Loss (Bowlby, 1980) ProtestDespairReorganization/ReintegrationIndividual difference in ‘disordered mourning’
5 2. Preoccupation/Exploration Examined Reactions1. Protest & Distress2. Preoccupation/Exploration3. Coping Strategies4. ResolutionProtest & Distress:-Threat to availability of attachment figure-Ambivalent reaction: Desire ↔ Hostility-Emotional involvement as fn of attachment stylePreoccupation/ExplorationConcerns the excessive preoccupation or Constant attention of thoughts, of the lost partner. This increased attention of ones thoughts can thus in turn affect the level of attention that one can have in their daily functioningCoping strategiesDifferences in adopted coping strategies between attachment stylesResoltution:Resolcing loss of partner goes through the natural grief process (depression, crying, sorrow), but this for some people can be extended or short lived, known as a maladaptive groefing periodResolution also involved integration of thoughts, memories, and feelings from previous relationship to allow ourself to continue on with our identiy and keeping our self-conceptIt is believed that examining attachment styles in terms of resolution may reveal certain patterns of grieveing, or lack thereof, that may nterefere with individuals contining on in life
6 Method Participants Procedure Measures Analysis n = 5,248 (64.4% female); age 15 – 50 (85.4% age 15 – 29)ProcedureInternet based surveyMeasuresExperiences in Close Relationships (ECR; Brennan et al., 1998)Reactions to Breaking Up (author constructed; 72-item)Demographics(e.g., who terminated relationship, emotional involvement)AnalysisSeries of correlations & regressions
7 1. Protest & Distress Protest Distress Characteristic when threat to availabilityAmbivalent acting out – ‘bipolar’ between desire ↔ hostilityDistressEmotional & PhysicalLost interest in sexBlame of lossGuilt
8 1. Protest & DistressH1a: Distress & protest rxns = +ve attachment anxiety(ps < .001)✔Anxious attachment = aggressionH1b: Distress & protest rxns = -ve attachment avoidanceEmotional involvement associated with distress(.05< ps < .001)Strongest = emotional distress; weakest = self-blameAvoidant = more self-blame (vs. partner blame)?Desire (or proximity seeking)Women less likely to use sexual rouses to reestablish relationship than men, but women are more likely to be hostile and aggressive- this interesting finding was later found out that attachment anxiety, regardless of gender and who initiated breakup, is more predictive of aggressive behaviourRegardless of who initiated breakup, anxious attachment shows significant +ve correlations with all protest rxns except for physically hurting the lost partner when they were the one who initiated breakup.
9 2. Preoccupation/ Exploration H2a: breakups = preoccupation in anxiously attached(p < .001)✔H2b: preoccupation = interference of exploratory behaviourEmotional involvement = associated with preoccupation & interference of exploratory behaviour(ps < .001)Exploratory behaviours such as school and work – meaning anxiously attached individuals have more disturbances in their daily functioning as a result of relationship dissolution
11 4. ResolutionH4a: anxious attachment = perseverance to reestablish relationship(p < .001)✔H4b: anxious attachment = lost sense of identityH4c: replacement of lost partner = anxiously attached(p < .001); if self-initiated = +ve; partner initiated = -veH4d: replacement of lost partner = avoidantly attached(p < .001) regardless of initiationLost sense of identity as a result of inability to redefine and reorganize the sense of self without their partnerThus, it appears that more anxious individuals either
12 Descriptive Results Gender ≠ differences in attachment style F = more emotionally involvedPerson to initiate breakup: anxiety emotional involvement avoidance
13 Putting Humpty Back Together Those who are more emotionally involved experience greater distressAnxious attachment:Preoccupation & perseverance interfere with functioning – exploratory behaviour, coping, disordered self-identity motivation to reestablish relationship = aggressionAvoidant attachment – not as boring as once thought?Unique finding of more self-blame – important?Self-blame – more suppression but internalizing blame – this may lead to mental health issues such as depression, which they may not seek treatment for due to avoidance and self-reliance regardless who terminates
14 Limitations Future Direction Memory Recall Correlational – not causationPresenting this study:1. in 15(ish) minutes2. OrganizationExamine longitudinallyDifferent measures of attachment (e.g., AAI) aggression in anxiously attached – examine gender perceptions & behavioursVerbal? Physical? Gender?Does attachment styles indeed affect reactions that we have seen presented today? Or could it be that the break up alters our attachment style, bringing out reactions that may not be truly characteristic of our attachment style ; however, there is no foundation to build a complete range of reverse effecrs