Pietromonaco, Paula R. and Carnelley, Katherine B.
Gender and working models of attachment: consequences for perceptions of self and romantic relationships.
Personal Relationships, 1, (1), . (doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.1994.tb00055.x).
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Several theorists have proposed that differential socialization experiences lead men and women to differ in the importance they assign to relationships and in how they interpret and respond to relationships. To explore this idea, this study examined whether men and women who reported similar attachment experiences responded differently to information about the same kind of relationship. Men and women with secure, preoccupied, or avoidant models of attachment imagined themselves in a relationship with a hypothetical partner who displayed secure, preoccupied, or avoidant behavior. As predicted, avoidant men and preoccupied women, whose attachment models exaggerated gender-role stereotypes, expressed the most negativity toward themselves and the relationship. Women also were more likely than men to apply specific information about the imagined relationship to general beliefs about their own relationships. In addition, men and women whose attachment models matched the partner's behavior responded more favorably to the relationship if they both expressed security, but less favorably if they both expressed avoidance. Findings for gender and partner matching closely paralleled those for couples in long-term relationships and support the idea that the meaning and consequences of attachment models must be considered within the context of gender roles.
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