Attachment experience and cortisol recovery from romantic conflict among young Chinese couples: A dyadic analysis

Authors:
Hui Wang, Zhuo Rachel Han, Liu Bai, Xiaomei Li
Published Online:
27 Sep 2018
DOI:
10.1002/ijop.12539
Volume/Issue No:
Early View Articles

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Using a sample of young adults, the present study investigated how the participants' attachment to romantic partners was related to that with their parents and peers and how this specific attachment experience was associated with their physiological stress response. We examined 121 pairs of young Chinese (N = 242) heterosexual couples (men's age: 22.26 ± 2.40; women's age: 21.62 ± 2.22) and their attachment to parents, peers, and romantic partners as well as their cortisol recovery from romantic conflict. Robust actor–partner interdependence mediation models showed that women's insecure parental and peer attachment was associated with blunted cortisol recovery from romantic stress through their fearful attachment with romantic partners, whereas men's insecure parental and peer attachment was associated with their partners' adaptive cortisol recovery from romantic stress through their fearful romantic attachment. These findings suggested that women's hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal‐axis functioning seemed to be more strongly associated with their own and their partners' attachment relationships compared to men.

© 2018 International Union of Psychological Science