The present research uses a behavioral observation methodology to examine emotional and behavioral reactions to threatening interpersonal situations in married couples. The research shows that although anxious attachment can hinder people’s tendencies to react constructively to threatening events, greater relationship commitment may serve as a buffer against the negative effects associated with attachment insecurities, diminishing feelings of rejection, enhancing feelings of acceptance, and promoting more constructive accommodation behaviors. The research also reveals that wives’ degree of relationship commitment has stronger effects on emotional outcomes for both partners than does husbands’ degree of commitment. Moreover, husbands’ and wives’ emotional reactions affect their own accommodative behaviors as well as their spouses’ behaviors. These dyadic findings are discussed in terms of attachment theory and interdependence theory.
Source: “Prorelationship maintenance behaviors: The joint roles of attachment and commitment.” from Journal of Personality and Social Psychology – Vol 97, Iss 5