Attachment and anger in an anxiety-provoking situation. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, women were told they would engage in an anxiety-provoking activity. Women then waited with their dating partner for the activity to begin. During this 5-min "stress" period, each couple's interaction was videotaped unobtrusively. Each couple was then told that the woman would not have to do the stressful activity, and each couple was unobtrusively videotaped again during a 5-min "recovery" period. The behavior of both partners was then coded during both periods. The major results revealed that more-avoidant men displayed greater anger during the stress period, especially if their partners were more anxious or distressed or sought more support from them. More-avoidant women also displayed greater anger, particularly if they were highly anxious or distressed and received little support or encountered anger from their partners. During the recovery period, highly ambivalent women behaved more negatively toward their partners if they had been more anxious in the stress period or had sought more support from their partners. These results are discussed in terms of attachment theory.

published proceedings

  • J Pers Soc Psychol

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Rholes, W. S., Simpson, J. A., & Oria, M. M.

citation count

  • 154

complete list of authors

  • Rholes, WS||Simpson, JA||OriƱa, MM

publication date

  • June 1999