Romantic relationships and adult attachment: providing a secure base for exploration



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Texas A&M University


The current study examines both attachment style and the current romantic relationship's influence on exploration. A sample was gathered of 152 female and 130 male undergraduate students from Texas A&M University. The study found that attachment styles were related to the participants' perceptions of their partner with regards to exploration. Specifically, avoidant people report using exploration as a means to distance themselves from their partner. Anxious people respond that they are dependant on their partner to explore. In addition, the study found that the Anxiety dimension predicted exploration across a range of established scales from the literature. Finally, the study presents evidence that the degree to which anxious people feel that they explore out of dependency on their partner mediates the association between anxiety and exploration. These findings highlight the importance of accounting for the current relationship partner in future studies of exploration and attachment.