Support Seeking and Support Giving Within Couples in an Anxiety-Provoking Situation: The Role of Attachment Styles Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined how adult attachment styles moderate spontaneous behavior between dating couples when 1 member of the dyad is confronted with an anxiety-provoking situation. Eighty-three dating couples were unobtrusively videotaped for 5 min in a waiting room while the woman waited to participate in an "activity" known to provoke anxiety in most people. Independent observers then evaluated each partner's behavior on several dimensions. Results revealed that persons with more secure attachment styles behaved differently than persons with more avoidant styles in terms of physical contact, supportive comments, and efforts to seek and give emotional support. Findings are discussed in the context of theory and research on attachment.

altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • Simpson, J. A., Rholes, W. S., & Nelligan, J. S.

citation count

  • 893

publication date

  • January 1992