Adult Attachment and Exploration: Linking Attachment Style to Motivation and Perceptions of Support in Adult Exploration Academic Article uri icon


  • Taking an attachment theory perspective, the present studies investigated partner-related motives for exploration and perceptions of romantic partners as persons who might provide support for exploration. We argue, from an attachment theory perspective, that more avoidant persons may use exploration as a way to distance themselves from their partners, whereas more anxious persons may use exploration as a means of getting closer to or depending on their partners. Attachment theory also suggests that more insecure individuals will tend to see their partners as providing less support and less effective support for exploration. Our research found support for both of these hypotheses. In this article we also investigate potential mediating models for linking attachment style to motives for exploration and perceptions of partner support. Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Martin, A., Paetzold, R. L., & Rholes, W. S.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Martin, A McLeish III||Paetzold, Ramona L||Rholes, W Steven

publication date

  • January 2010