Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Adult attachment and the maintenance of self-views
Author: Hepper, Erica
ISNI:       0000 0001 3553 9186
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
Attachment theory states that early caregiving experiences shape strategies for regulating affect, which influence functioning throughout the lifespan. Whereas secure attachment fosters ability to regulate positive self-worth internally, insecure attachment impedes the development ofthis internal resource. This thesis examined the novel proposal that for insecure individuals, regulation of self-esteem is contingent on fulfilment of affectregulation goals. Specifically, individuals with high attachment anxiety depend on interpersonal approval and affection, whereas those with high avoidance, although they defensively deny attachment needs, depend on validating their agency and self-reliance. Fourstudies examined the influence of attachment patterns on self-esteem regulation. . Study 1 showed that for insecure compared to secure individuals, global self-esteem was more closely connected to specific interpersonal or agentic self-views. Study 2 and 3 examined feedback-seeking patterns. Secure individuals were more open to, and chose, positive over negative feedback. High-anxious individuals pursued interpersonal feedback but chose negative feedback when it was offered. Dismissing individuals (high avoidance, low anxiety) sought positive hypothetical feedback about self-reliance but negative feedback across all domains when it was offered. Study 4 examined day-to-day self-esteem regulation using daily diaries. High-anxious individuals exhibited the most fluctuation in self-esteem as a function of daily rejection and positive partner feedback, and reacted negatively to negative interpersonal feedback. High-avoidant individuals did not self-enhance by taking on board positive competence feedback. Instead, they exhibited the least boost to self-esteem after positive interpersonal feedback but lower self-esteem after daily rejection. Overall, findings supported high-anxious individuals' reliance on interpersonal sources for self-esteem regulation. High-avoidant individuals' reliance on agentic sources was inconsistently supported, but their vulnerability to acceptance and rejection implies incomplete defences. These findings have implications for relationship functioning, work performance, and vulnerability to depression. Attachment theory provides a valuable framework for understanding individual differences in self-esteem regulation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available