Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Attachment, personality, and conflict behaviors in romantic couples: Examining vulnerability to depression
by Harwood, Elizabeth Anne, Ph.D., University of Montana, 2008, 126; 3324555
Abstract (Summary)

Major Depressive Disorder has been conceptualized from a number of theoretical perspectives. The present study aims to provide a theoretically integrated understanding of depression vulnerability. Cognitive and interpersonal theories of depressive vulnerability were considered simultaneously in a sample of undergraduate research participants. Study procedures included an attachment elicitation exercise, which was preceded by completion of a self-report measure of depressive and anxious affect. The attachment elicitation exercise was followed by self-report measures of relationship behavior, adult attachment style, cognitive vulnerability, depressive symptomatology, and additional self-report measures of affect. Results of hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that the effects of insecure attachment and cognitive personal style on relational behavior are complex. Anxiously attached, sociotropic individuals appear to utilize more passive-aggressive behaviors (i.e., negativity) to negotiate conflict and avoidantly attached, autonomous individuals reported engagement in more overt, distancing behaviors (i.e., negative escalation and withdrawal). Moreover, significant interactions between avoidant attachment and autonomy suggested that the greatest impact on behavior occurred when autonomy was high and avoidant attachment was low. It appears that avoidant attachment may suppress some of the negative emotional expressions or behaviors of highly autonomous individuals. Contrary to expectations, insecure attachment and cognitive personal style did not predict pre- to post-changes in depressive affect, although these relationships were significant for both pre-stress induction affect and post-stress induction affect. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Campbell, Duncan
Commitee: Caringi, James, Cochran, Bryan, Fiore, Christine, Schuldberg, David
School: University of Montana
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Montana
Source: DAI-B 69/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Conflict, Depression, Personality, Romantic couples
Publication Number: 3324555
ISBN: 978-0-549-75619-4
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