Attachment style, partner communication, and physical well-being among couples coping with cancer

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Attachment styles may influence interpersonal strategies used to cope with stress. We examined links between attachment style, communicative behaviors, and physical well-being among 166 couples coping with cancer. Results of actor–partner interdependence mediation models indicated that insecure attachment styles were associated with greater self-report of two different and seemingly contradictory communicative behaviors (disclosure and holding back), which in turn were associated with poorer physical well-being. These effects were intrapersonal for both patients and spouses, with the exception of anxious attachment and holding back for spouses. They were also interpersonal in that spouse insecure attachment was associated with poorer patient physical well-being through spouse communication (greater holding back and disclosure). Couple-based communication interventions to support adjustment should consider attachment style.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ramos, K; Langer, SL; Todd, M; Romano, JM; Ghosh, N; Keefe, FJ; Baucom, DH; Syrjala, KL; Porter, LS

Published Date

  • September 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 526 - 549

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1475-6811

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1350-4126

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/pere.12330

Citation Source

  • Scopus