Adult attachment, stress, and romantic relationships

Jeffry A. Simpson, W. Steven Rholes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


In this article, we discuss theory and research on how individuals who have insecure adult romantic attachment orientations typically think, feel, and behave when they or their romantic partners encounter certain types of chronic or acute stress. We first review basic principles of attachment theory and then discuss how two forms of attachment insecurity - anxiety and avoidance - are associated with unique patterns of emotion regulation in response to certain types of threatening/distressing situations. We then discuss a Diathesis-Stress Process Model that has guided our research, highlighting studies that provide support for certain pathways of the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Some of the research reported in this article was support by National Institute of Mental Health grant R01-MH49599 to Jeffry A. Simpson and W. Steven Rholes.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


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