Individuals scoring high in anxiety attachment would be characterized by an excessive preoccupation and fear of being abandoned by their partner. Frontiers | Avoidant Attachment, Withdrawal-Aggression Conflict Pattern, and Relationship Satisfaction: A Mediational Dyadic Model (

  • The anxiety dimension concerns the extent to which the attachment system is activated by environmental and interpersonal stressors. Anxious infants and adults are overly concerned with fears of abandonment and rejection, and as a result tend to be especially vigilant regarding the whereabouts of attachment figures (Ainsworth et al., 1978; J. Feeney, 1998). Adults high on the anxiety dimension are more easily distressed by brief separations from attachment figures (J. Feeney & Noller, 1992; Fraley & Shaver, 1998) and often do not feel that their needs for closeness are satisfied by relationship partners (Hazan & Shaver, 1987).

  • The second dimension, anxiety, assesses the degree to which individuals worry about being underappreciated or abandoned by their romantic partners. Highly anxious individuals are heavily invested in their relationships, and they yearn to get closer to their partners emotionally to feel more secure. Anxious individuals harbor negative self-views and guarded but hopeful views of their romantic partners [13,14]. These conflicted perceptions lead anxious individuals to question their worth, worry about losing their partners, and remain vigilant to signs their partners might be pulling away from them [15]. Thus, they are motivated to increase their deficient sense of felt security [12], which leads them to act in ways that sometimes smother or drive their partners away [16]. Because anxious persons do not know whether they can count on their partners, their working models amplify distress, making them feel even less secure. Accordingly, anxious people tend to use emotion-focused/hyperactivating coping strategies when distressed [6], which sustain or escalate their concerns/worries and often keeps their attachment systems chronically activated [17].!po=14.7059

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