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Age differences in attachment orientations among younger and older adults: evidence from two self-report measures of attachment.

Abstract

The attachment patterns of younger and older adults were studied using two-dimensional self-report measures of adult attachment. Community-dwelling younger (n = 144, M = 22.5 years, SD = 3.6) and older (n = 106, M = 68.6 years, SD = 8.3) adults completed the Measure of Attachment Qualities (MAQ; Carver, 1997) and the Relationship Style Questionnaire (RSQ; Griffin & Bartholomew, 1994). Although the MAQ and RSQ are believed to be measuring similar constructs, they are derived from different theoretical perspectives. Correlations between the two measures were in the expected directions proving modest evidence for their convergent validity. Regarding cross-sectional results, as was expected, older adults scored lower than younger adults on the ambivalent-worry attachment scale of the MAQ and the preoccupied attachment scale of the RSQ. There were no age differences regarding secure, avoidant, and dismissing attachment. It appears that older adults experience anxious types of attachment less frequently than younger adults. Although these results primarily speak to age differences and possible cohort effects, they also provide some support for socioemotional selectivity theory and its hypothesized improved relationships in later life.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150, USA. dsegal@uccs.edu

    ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Age Distribution
    Age Factors
    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Aging
    Attitude to Health
    Cross-Sectional Studies
    Female
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Object Attachment
    Orientation
    Quality of Life
    Surveys and Questionnaires
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Comparative Study
    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19960862

    Citation

    Segal, Daniel L., et al. "Age Differences in Attachment Orientations Among Younger and Older Adults: Evidence From Two Self-report Measures of Attachment." International Journal of Aging & Human Development, vol. 69, no. 2, 2009, pp. 119-32.
    Segal DL, Needham TN, Coolidge FL. Age differences in attachment orientations among younger and older adults: evidence from two self-report measures of attachment. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2009;69(2):119-32.
    Segal, D. L., Needham, T. N., & Coolidge, F. L. (2009). Age differences in attachment orientations among younger and older adults: evidence from two self-report measures of attachment. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 69(2), pp. 119-32.
    Segal DL, Needham TN, Coolidge FL. Age Differences in Attachment Orientations Among Younger and Older Adults: Evidence From Two Self-report Measures of Attachment. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2009;69(2):119-32. PubMed PMID: 19960862.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Age differences in attachment orientations among younger and older adults: evidence from two self-report measures of attachment. AU - Segal,Daniel L, AU - Needham,Tracy N, AU - Coolidge,Frederick L, PY - 2009/12/8/entrez PY - 2009/12/8/pubmed PY - 2010/1/8/medline SP - 119 EP - 32 JF - International journal of aging & human development JO - Int J Aging Hum Dev VL - 69 IS - 2 N2 - The attachment patterns of younger and older adults were studied using two-dimensional self-report measures of adult attachment. Community-dwelling younger (n = 144, M = 22.5 years, SD = 3.6) and older (n = 106, M = 68.6 years, SD = 8.3) adults completed the Measure of Attachment Qualities (MAQ; Carver, 1997) and the Relationship Style Questionnaire (RSQ; Griffin & Bartholomew, 1994). Although the MAQ and RSQ are believed to be measuring similar constructs, they are derived from different theoretical perspectives. Correlations between the two measures were in the expected directions proving modest evidence for their convergent validity. Regarding cross-sectional results, as was expected, older adults scored lower than younger adults on the ambivalent-worry attachment scale of the MAQ and the preoccupied attachment scale of the RSQ. There were no age differences regarding secure, avoidant, and dismissing attachment. It appears that older adults experience anxious types of attachment less frequently than younger adults. Although these results primarily speak to age differences and possible cohort effects, they also provide some support for socioemotional selectivity theory and its hypothesized improved relationships in later life. SN - 0091-4150 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19960862/Age_differences_in_attachment_orientations_among_younger_and_older_adults:_evidence_from_two_self_report_measures_of_attachment_ L2 - http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.2190/AG.69.2.c?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -