Associations between attachment security and relationship satisfaction are well documented (e.g., Feeney, 1994), but the mechanisms of this link are poorly understood. In 162 heterosexual newlywed couples, I examined whether perceived partner support mediated the associations between attachment security (i.e., low anxiety and avoidance) and marital satisfaction. Path analyses indicated significant positive within spouse, but not cross-partner, associations between attachment security and support perceptions. Although attachment security and marital satisfaction were associated, spouses’ attachment security only marginally predicted marital satisfaction in the mediation model. However, spouses’ support perceptions partially mediated the associations between spouses’ attachment anxiety and avoidance and their own and their partners’ marital satisfaction. The results underline the value of examining actor and partner effects and the central role of support processes in marital relationships.
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Thesis advisor: Cobb, Rebecca
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