Carnelley, Katherine B. and Ruscher, Janet B.
Adult attachment and exploratory behavior in leisure
Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 15, (2), .
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The goal of the attachment system is protection and felt security achieved by proximity to a caregiver; the goal of the exploratory system is discovery of the environment. These systems are complementary because a secure base enables one to explore the environment. As adults, people may explore through various leisure activities, such as travel or exhilarating sports. Depending on their attachment-related anxiety or avoidance, adults may view leisure activities as more or less compatible with relationships. Moreover, they may use exploration in leisure for different reasons, such as regulating negative affect or securing social approval. We found that individuals who were high in attachment-related anxiety avoided thrill and adventure seeking, perhaps because they also valued love over leisure activities. In addition, individuals high in attachment-related anxiety or avoidance engaged in leisure to gain social approval. Leisure activities were used to regulate negative affect about relationships for those high in attachment-related anxiety. Thus, consistent with Hazan and Shaver's (1990) findings for work, attachment orientations predict a different understanding of, and use of, leisure.
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