We investigated the relationship between attachment styles and negative affect using Bartholomew and Horowitz’s (1991) model of attachment. Attachment styles with a negative self view (i.e., preoccupied and fearful) were expected to be associated with more distress, especially the fearful style which involves negative views of both self and others. Measures of attachment, depression, depression proneness, and social anxiety were administered to 293 undergraduates. As predicted, participants with “negative self” attachment styles reported more symptoms of depression, proneness to depression, and social anxiety, but, contrary to prediction, those with a fearful style did not report more symptoms of depression and anxiety than those with a preoccupied style. Results suggest that the negative view of self significantly predicts depression and anxiety. Preoccupied and fearful attachment styles may best be described as predicting general negative affectivity. Implications for counseling are discussed.
Van Buren, A. & Cooley, E.L. (2002). Attachment styles, view of self and negative affect. North American Journal of Psychology 4(3), 417-430.