Adult attachment patterns and stability in esteem for romantic partners

Yitshak Alfasi, Richard H. Gramzow, Katherine B. Carnelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Numerous studies on adult attachment have emphasized the content and valence of working models of self and others (e.g., Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). However, limited research has examined the impact of these models on the stability of evaluations of the self and close others. Foster, Kernis, and Goldman (2007) reported that individuals high in attachment anxiety possess unstable self-evaluations. In the present research, we examined whether attachment patterns predict unstable evaluations of close others. Participants rated their esteem for their romantic partners multiple times over 3 weeks. Attachment anxiety and avoidance each predicted unstable partner-esteem. This association was independent of initial (and mean) level of partner-esteem for attachment anxiety, but not for avoidance. Thus, models of others may differ not only in terms of their implications for how positively or negatively the partner is perceived, but also in terms of the temporal stability of partner-evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-611
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Attachment
  • Romantic relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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