Adult attachment and self-construal: a cross-cultural analysis
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A cross-cultural survey study examined the impact of adult attachment and self-construal on relationship and mental health outcomes in Hong Kong, Mexico, and the United States. Approximately 200 university students (each currently involved in a romantic relationship) from each culture were recruited to participate. Participants completed self-report measures of adult attachment style, self-construal and several questionnaires about their romantic relationships. The dependent measures examined were relationship satisfaction, commitment, and perceived social support, along with the mental health variable of depressive symptoms. Both universal and culture-specific patterns of adult attachment were observed. Attachment insecurity was negatively related to relationship and mental health outcomes in all cultures under study, providing support for a universal interpretation of attachment theory. However, the negative effects of avoidant attachment on relationship outcomes were found to be stronger in Hong Kong and in Mexico. These findings provide support for a degree of cultural specificity to attachment processes. Additional findings centered on self-construal, and showed that independent self-construal was particularly detrimental to relationship outcomes in Hong Kong. Implications for attachment theory and self-construal research are discussed.
Friedman, Michael David (2006). Adult attachment and self-construal: a cross-cultural analysis. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from