Title page for ETD etd-05112004-122535

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Davies, Lorin Christopher
URN etd-05112004-122535
Title The association between attachment style and uni- and bi-directional pursuer-distancer patterns in couples: A clinical sample of couples in counseling
Degree Master of Science
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rosen, Karen H. Committee Chair
McCollum, Eric E. Committee Member
Stith, Sandra M. Committee Member
  • distance
  • adult attachment
  • couples
  • closeness
  • pursuer-distancer
Date of Defense 2004-05-07
Availability unrestricted
This study examined the relationship between adult attachment style and pursuer-distancer patterns in couples. Both uni- and bi-directional pursuer-distancer patterns were studied. Participants were 67 individuals (including 32 couples) in therapy. Each partner, independent of the other, completed an anonymous questionnaire containing the Multi-item Measure of Adult Romantic Attachment (Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998) and a four-item measure of pursuer-distancer pattern designed for this study. The relationship between male dismissing attachment style and the presence of a pursuer-distancer pattern in the couple approached significance. Analyses of attachment style and the specific direction of the pursuer-distancer pattern as a couple-level variable were non-significant. However, when self-report of pursuer-distancer pattern was analyzed as an individual-level variable, a significant relationship was found between pursuing and a preoccupied attachment style and between distancing and a dismissing attachment style. Fearful attachment style was related to bi-directional pursuer-distancer pattern when measured by partner’s report but not when measured by self-report. Dismissing and fearful attachment styles in males were related to lower relationship satisfaction in males and females. Pursuer-distancer patterns (particularly female-pursue and bi-directional patterns) were significantly related to lower relationship satisfaction in males and females. No relationship was found between attachment style or pursuer-distancer pattern report and the gender of the participant. Implications for treating pursuer-distancer patterns couples are discussed.
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