Attachment, perceptions of interaction, and relationship adjustment

Thomas L. Morrison, Anthony J. Urquiza, Beth L. Goodlin-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study examined the hypothesis that perceptions of interaction in intimate relationships would mediate the association between attachment organization and relationship satisfaction. A multi-ethnic group of 159 male and 226 female community college students completed questionnaires regarding attachment organization and aspects of their intimate relationships. Greater attachment security and less activation of the attachment system were associated with perceptions of more affiliative interaction (R = .45, p<.001) and less distress (R = .43, p<.001) in the relationship. Perceptions of more affiliative interaction were strongly associated with less relationship distress (R = .69, p<.001). When attachment factors and interaction factors were entered jointly in the regression for relationship distress, the association between attachment and relationship distress was substantially reduced. This analysis supported the hypothesis of a mediation effect. The mediation effect was less complete for women than for men. The association of attachment factors with relationship distress was more direct in relationships that were at relatively early stages of development. Over all comparisons, the inclusion of subjects with a conventionalized response set inflated Rs2 by an average of 3 percent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-642
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Attachment
  • Interactions
  • Relationship satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication


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