Attachment orientations and emotion regulation: new insights from the study of interpersonal emotion regulation strategies

Submitted: June 26, 2023
Accepted: October 9, 2023
Published: December 31, 2023
Abstract Views: 435
PDF: 245
HTML: 23
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

Authors

A crucial point for the understanding of the link between attachment and emotion regulation concerns the individual tendency in turning to others to alleviate distress. Most previous studies in this field have considered almost exclusively intra-personal forms of emotion regulation, neglecting the role of social interaction in emotion regulation processes. In the present study, instead, we focused on interpersonal emotion regulation. 630 adults were assessed for their attachment orientations, general difficulties in emotion regulation, and habitual intra-personal and interpersonal emotion regulation strategies. Results showed that the imbalance between the hyper-activation and deactivation of the attachment system, which characterize unsecure attachment, reflects a correspondent imbalance in the use of emotion regulation strategies, with an exaggerated dependence on other associated with attachment anxiety and pseudo-autonomy associated to attachment avoidance.

Dimensions

Altmetric

PlumX Metrics

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Citations

Balzarotti, S., John, O. P., & Gross, J. J. (2010). An Italian Adaptation of the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 26(1), 61-67. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1027/1015-5759/a000009
Barthel, A. L., Hay, A., Doan, S. N., & Hofmann, S. G. (2018). Interpersonal emotion regulation: A review of social and developmental components. Behaviour Change, 35(4), 203-216. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/bec.2018.19
Blake, J., & Norton, C. L. (2014). Examining the Relationship between Hope and Attachment: A Meta-Analysis. Psychology, 05(06), 556–565. https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.2014.56065 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4236/psych.2014.56065
Brenning, K. M., Soenens, B., Braet, C., & Bosmans, G. U. Y. (2012). Attachment and depressive symptoms in middle childhood and early adolescence: Testing the validity of the emotion regulation model of attachment. Personal relationships, 19(3), 445-464. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2011.01372.x
Busonera, A., Martini, P. S., Zavattini, G. C., & Santona, A. (2014). Psychometric Properties of an Italian Version of the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R) Scale. Psychological Reports, 114(3), 785–801.
Calvo, V. (2008). Il questionario ECR-R: aspetti di validazione della versione italiana dello strumento [The ECR-R questionnaire: Aspects of validation of the Italian version of the instrument]. X Congresso Nazionale della Sezione di Psicologia Clinica e Dinamica dell’Associazione Italiana di Psicologia (AIP), Padova, 12-14 Sep. 2008.
Calvo, V., D’Aquila, C., Rocco, D., & Carraro, E. (2022). Attachment and well-being: Mediatory roles of mindfulness, psychological inflexibility, and resilience. Current Psychology, 41, 2966–2979.
Campos, J. J., Walle, E. A., Dahl, A., & Main, A. (2011). Reconceptualizing emotion regulation. Emotion Review, 3(1), 26-35. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073910380975
Cassidy, J. (1994). Emotion regulation: Influences of attachment relationships. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 59(2–3), 228–249. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5834.1994.tb01287.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5834.1994.tb01287.x
Cortés-García, L., Takkouche, B., Seoane, G., & Senra, C. (2019). Mediators linking insecure attachment to eating symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 14(3), e0213099. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0213099
Christensen, K. A., & Haynos, A. F. (2020). A theoretical review of interpersonal emotion regulation in eating disorders: enhancing knowledge by bridging interpersonal and affective dysfunction. Journal of Eating Disorders, 8, 1-10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40337-020-00298-0
Dixon-Gordon, K. L., Bernecker, S. L., & Christensen, K. (2015). Recent innovations in the field of interpersonal emotion regulation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 3, 36-42. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.02.001
Dixon-Gordon, K. L., Haliczer, L. A., Conkey, L. C., & Whalen, D. J. (2018). Difficulties in interpersonal emotion regulation: Initial development and validation of a self-report measure. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 40(3), 528-549.. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-018-9647-9
Fraley, R. C., Davis, K. E., & Shaver, P. R. (1998). Dismissing-avoidance and the defensive organization of emotion, cognition, and behavior. In J. A. Simpson & W. S. Rholes (Eds.), Attachment theory and close relationships (pp. 249–279). Guilford Press.
Fraley, R. C., & Shaver, P. R. (1997). Adult Attachment and the Suppression of Unwanted Thoughts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(5), 1080–1091. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.73.5.1080
Fraley, R. C., & Shaver, P. R. (2016). Attachment, Loss, and Grief. Bowlby’s Views, New Developments, and Current Controversies. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of Attachment. Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications (3rd ed., pp. 40–62). The Guilford Press.
Fraley, R. C., Waller, N. G., & Brennan, K. A. (2000). An item response theory analysis of self-report measures of adult attachment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(2), 350–365. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.78.2.350
Frederickson, J. J., Messina, I., & Grecucci, A. (2018). Dysregulated anxiety and dysregulating defenses: Toward an emotion regulation informed dynamic psychotherapy. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 2054. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02054
Garrison, A. M., Kahn, J. H., Miller, S. A., & Sauer, E. M. (2014). Emotional avoidance and rumination as mediators of the relation between adult attachment and emotional disclosure. Personality and Individual Differences, 70, 239-245. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.07.006
Gillath, O., Bunge, S. A., Shaver, P. R., Wendelken, C., & Mikulincer, M. (2005). Attachment-style differences in the ability to suppress negative thoughts: Exploring the neural correlates. NeuroImage, 28(4), 835–847.
Giromini, L., Velotti, P., De Campora, G., Bonalume, L., & Cesare Zavattini, G. (2012). Cultural adaptation of the difficulties in emotion regulation scale: Reliability and validity of an Italian version. Journal of clinical psychology, 68(9), 989-1007. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.21876
Goodall, K., Trejnowska, A., & Darling, S. (2012). The relationship between dispositional mindfulness, attachment security and emotion regulation. Personality and Individual Differences, 52(5), 622-626. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.12.008
Gratz, K. L., & Roemer, L. (2004). Multidimensional assessment of emotion regulation and dysregulation: Development, factor structure, and initial validation of the difficulties in emotion regulation scale. Journal of psychopathology and behavioral assessment, 26(1), 41-54. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOBA.0000007455.08539.94
Grecucci, A., Messina, I., Amodeo, L., Lapomarda, G., Crescentini, C., Dadomo, H., ... & Frederickson, J. (2020). A dual route model for regulating emotions: Comparing models, techniques and biological mechanisms. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 930. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00930
Gross, J.J., & John, O.P. (2003). Individual differences in twoemotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 348–362. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.85.2.348
Gyurak, A., Goodkind, M. S., Kramer, J. H., Miller, B. L., & Levenson, R. W. (2012). Executive functions and the down-regulation and up-regulation of emotion. Cognition & emotion, 26(1), 103-118. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2011.557291
Hart, J., Shaver, P. R., & Goldenberg, J. L. (2005). Attachment, Self-Esteem, Worldviews, and Terror Management: Evidence for a Tripartite Security System. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88(6), 999–1013.
Hofmann, S. G. (2014). Interpersonal emotion regulation model of mood and anxiety disorders. Cognitive therapy and research, 38(5), 483-492. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-014-9620-1
Hofmann, S. G., Carpenter, J. K., & Curtiss, J. (2016). Interpersonal emotion regulation questionnaire (IERQ): Scale development and psychometric characteristics. Cognitive therapy and research, 40(3), 341-356. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-016-9756-2
Holmberg, D., Lomore, C. D., Takacs, T. A., & Price, E. L. (2011). Adult attachment styles and stressor severity as moderators of the coping sequence. Personal Relationships, 18(3), 502–517.
Hoorelbeke, K., Koster, E. H., Demeyer, I., Loeys, T., & Vanderhasselt, M. A. (2016). Effects of cognitive control training on the dynamics of (mal) adaptive emotion regulation in daily life. Emotion, 16(7), 945. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000169
Horowitz, M. J. (1998). Cognitive psychodynamics: From conflict to character. John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Jacobvitz, D., Curran, M., & Moller, N. (2002). Measurement of adult attachment: The place of self-report and interview methodologies. Attachment & Human Development, 4(2), 207-215. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616730210154225
Karreman, A., & Vingerhoets, A. J. (2012). Attachment and well-being: The mediating role of emotion regulation and resilience. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(7), 821-826. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2012.06.014
Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, Appraisal, and Coping. Springer Publishing Company.
Malik, S., Wells, A., & Wittkowski, A. (2015). Emotion regulation as a mediator in the relationship between attachment and depressive symptomatology: A systematic review. Journal of affective disorders, 172, 428-444. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2014.10.007
Marganska, A., Gallagher, M., & Miranda, R. (2013). Adult attachment, emotion dysregulation, and symptoms of depression and generalized anxiety disorder. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 83(1), 131. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ajop.12001
Marroquín, B. (2011). Interpersonal emotion regulation as a mechanism of social support in depression. Clinical psychology review, 31(8), 1276-1290. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2011.09.005
Messina, I., Calvo, V., Masaro, C., Ghedin, S., & Marogna, C. (2021). Interpersonal Emotion Regulation: From Research to Group Therapy. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 636.
Messina, I., Spataro, P., Grecucci, A., Marogna, C., & Dixon-Gordon, K. L. (2022a). Difficulties in interpersonal regulation of emotions (DIRE) questionnaire: Psychometric Properties of the Italian Version and Associations with psychopathological symptoms. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 1-9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-022-09992-6
Messina, I., Spataro, P., Grecucci, A., Moskow, D. M., Marogna, C., & Hofmann, S. G. (2022b). Interpersonal emotion regulation questionnaire: psychometric properties of the Italian version and associations with psychopathology. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 25(2). DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2022.616
Mikulincer, M., & Florian, V. (1998). The relationship between adult attachment styles and emotional and cognitive reactions to stressful events. In J. A. Simpson & W. S. Rholes (Eds.), Attachment theory and close relationships (pp. 143–165). Guilford Press. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0146167295214011
Mikulincer, M., & Orbach, I. (1995). Attachment styles and repressive defensiveness: The accessibility and architecture of affective memories. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68(5), 917. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.68.5.917
Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2008). Adult attachment and affect regulation. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (pp. 503–531). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2016). Attachment in Adulthood, Second Edition: Structure, Dynamics, and Change. Guilford Publications.
Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2019). Attachment orientations and emotion regulation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 25, 6–10.
Morel, K., & Papouchis, N. (2015). The role of attachment and reflective functioning in emotion regulation. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(4), NP15-NP20. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0003065115602447
Mortazavizadeh, Z., & Forstmeier, S. (2018). The role of emotion regulation in the association of adult attachment and mental health: A systematic review. Archives of Psychology, 2(9). DOI: https://doi.org/10.31296/aop.v2i9.83
Niven, K. (2017). The four key characteristics of interpersonal emotion regulation. Current opinion in psychology, 17, 89-93. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2017.06.015
Ochsner, K. N., & Gross, J. J. (2005). The cognitive control of emotion. Trends in cognitive sciences, 9(5), 242-249. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2005.03.010
Read, D. L., Clark, G. I., Rock, A. J., & Coventry, W. L. (2018). Adult attachment and social anxiety: The mediating role of emotion regulation strategies. PloS one, 13(12), e0207514. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207514
Shaver, P. R., & Mikulincer, M. (2007). Adult attachment strategies and the regulation of emotion. Handbook of emotion regulation, 446, 465.
Schore, J. R., & Schore, A. N. (2008). Modern attachment theory: The central role of affect regulation in development and treatment. Clinical social work journal, 36(1), 9-20. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-007-0111-7
Tanzilli, A., Di Giuseppe, M., Giovanardi, G., Boldrini, T., Caviglia, G., Conversano, C., & Lingiardi, V. (2021). Mentalization, attachment, and defense mechanisms: a Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual-2-oriented empirical investigation. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process, and Outcome, 24(1). DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2021.531
Taubman Ben-Ari, O., Shlomo, S. B., Sivan, E., & Dolizki, M. (2009). The Transition to Motherhood—A Time for Growth. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(8), 943–970.
Thorberg, F. A., & Lyvers, M. (2010). Attachment in relation to affect regulation and interpersonal functioning among substance use disorder in patients. Addiction Research & Theory, 18(4), 464–478.
Troyer, D., & Greitemeyer, T. (2018). The impact of attachment orientations on empathy in adults: Considering the mediating role of emotion regulation strategies and negative affectivity. Personality and Individual Differences, 122, 198-205. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.10.033
Velotti, P., D’Aguanno, M., De Campora, G., Di Francescantonio, S., Garofalo, C., Giromini, L., ... & Zavattini, G. C. (2016). Gender moderates the relationship between attachment insecurities and emotion dysregulation. South African Journal of Psychology, 46(2), 191-202. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0081246315604582
Vrtička, P., Sander, D., & Vuilleumier, P. (2012). Influence of adult attachment style on the perception of social and non-social emotional scenes. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 29(4), 530-544. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407512443451
Whitaker, C., Stevelink, S., & Fear, N. (2017). The use of Facebook in recruiting participants for health research purposes: a systematic review. Journal of medical Internet research, 19(8), e290. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.7071
Williams, W. C., Morelli, S. A., Ong, D. C., & Zaki, J. (2018). Interpersonal emotion regulation: Implications for affiliation, perceived support, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115(2), 224. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000132
Winterheld, H. A. (2016). Calibrating use of emotion regulation strategies to the relationship context: An attachment perspective. Journal of Personality, 84(3), 369-380. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12165
Zaki, J., & Williams, W. C. (2013). Interpersonal emotion regulation. Emotion, 13(5), 80 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/a0033839

How to Cite

Messina, I., Calvo, V., & Grecucci, A. (2023). Attachment orientations and emotion regulation: new insights from the study of interpersonal emotion regulation strategies. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 26(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2023.703

Similar Articles

1 2 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.