Romantic attachment in individuals with physical disabilities

Short Title:
Model System:
Reference Type:
Journal Article
Accession No.:
Rehabilitation Psychology
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):
2007, vol. 52, issue , pp 184-195
Publication Website:
Objective: To examine the relationship between adult attachment style and physical disability in intimate romantic relationships. Method: Participants were 50 individuals with adult-onset spinal cord injuries (SCI) and 50 individuals with congenital disabilities (CON) living in the community. The main outcome measures were adult attachment style and dyadic relationship adjustment. Results: Participants with SCI and CON did not differ in rates of secure versus insecure attachment, and the rates of neither group differed significantly from rates reported for persons without disability. Dyadic adjustment was clearly predicted by attachment variables and differed between the participants with SCI and those with CON; individuals with SCI reported greater total dyadic adjustment. Avoidance showed a strong negative association with dyadic satisfaction, but no association was found with dyadic cohesion. Social participation variables were associated with dyadic adjustment. For instance, mobility was positively associated with dyadic satisfaction. Conclusions: Dyadic adjustment in people with disabilities, as in other groups, is affected by attachment style, but disability and social participation variables may also affect dyadic adjustment. Clinicians should consider differences in attachment styles among persons with disabilities and their implications for intimate close relationships.
Hwang, K.; Johnston, M.; Smith, J.
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