Composition of spouses’ attachment dimensions on marital satisfaction

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant professor of counseling, Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Isfahan University

2 Associate professor of Pregnancy Health Research Center, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences


Introduction: Adult attachment theory is a determinant   and important theory in marital relationships and marital satisfaction. The main purpose of this research was to study the marital satisfaction in regard to spouses’ anxiety and avoidance attachment.
Materials and Methods: This research is a correlation one. The study population of this research was Isfahanian couples (2011) who were married at least more than one year and had no stressful events in their life up to the time of the study. 242 couples were selected through available method sampling. In this research, the Marital Satisfaction Index (CSI) and the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised Questionnaire (ECR-R) were used for collecting data. The data was analyzed by SPSS-18 and using cluster analysis, ANOVA, MANOVA, and SEM.
Results: With regard to both spouses’ marital satisfaction, four groups were identified: unsatisfied wife, devitalized spouses, satisfied spouses, and vitalized spouses. These groups were different in wife’s and husband’s marital satisfaction significantly (P<0.001). In addition these groups were different in wife’s and husband’s anxiety (P< 0.001) and avoidance (P<0.001) attachment significantly. The self and partner effect on wife’s and husband’s marital satisfaction were studied based on actor-partner interdependence model. The results showed that in both wife and husband, attachment dimensions reduced the marital satisfaction (P<0.05). Also the partner’s avoidance attachment reduced the marital satisfaction (P<0.01).
 Conclusion: Marital satisfaction could predict based on spouses’ attachment style. Marital satisfaction is affected by self and partner attachment system.


  1. Funk JL, Rogge RD. Testing the ruler with item response theory: Increasing precision of measurement for relationship satisfaction with the couples’s satisfaction index. J Fam Psychol 2007; 21(4): 572-83.
  2. White JK, Hendrick SS, Hendrick C. Big five variables and relationship constructs. Pers Indiv Dif 2004; 37: 1519-30.
  3. Custer L. Marital satisfaction and quality. In: Encyclopedia of human relationships. [cited 2009]. Available from: URL;
  4. Cohan CL, Bradbury TN. Longitudinal studies of marital satisfaction and dissolution. In: Encyclopedia of human relationships. [cited 2009]. Available from: URL;
  5. Lawrence E, Barry RA, Langer A, Brock RL. Marital satisfaction. In: Encyclopedia of human relationship. [cited 2009]. Available from: URL;
  6. Fisher D, McNulty K. The mediating role played by the sexual relationship. J Fam Psychol 2008; 22(1): 112-22.
  7. Johnson DR, Booth A. Marital quality: A product of the dyadic environment or individual factors? Soc Forces 1998; 76(3): 883-904.
  8. Moreira JM, Bernardes S, Andrez M, Aguiar  P, Moliero C, Silva MF. Social competence and adult attachment style in Portuguese sample. Pers Indiv Dif 1998; 24(4): 565-70.
  9. Fraley RC, Shaver PR. Adult romantic attachment: Theoretical developments, emerging controversies, and unanswered questions. Rev Gen Psychol 2000; 4: 132-54.
  10. Mikulincer M, Shaver PR. The attachment behavioral system in adulthood: Activation, psychodynamics, and interpersonal processes. In: Zanna MP. (editor). Advances in experimental social psychology. San Diego: Academic; 2003: 152-3.
  11. Mikulincer M, Shaver PR.  Attachment in adulthood: Structure, dynamics, and change. New York: Guilford; 2007: 51-2.
  12. Noftle EE, Shaver PR. Attachment dimensions and the big five personality traits: Associations and comparative ability to predict relationship quality. J Res Pers 2006; 40: 179-208.
  13. Schen D, Shiver FR. [A review of adult attachment theory, psychodynamics and couples relationship]. In: Johanson SM, Whiffen VE. Attachment processes in couple and family therapy. Bahrami F. (translator). Tehran: Danjeh; 2009: 45-82. (Persian)
  14. Donnellan MB, Burt SA, Levendosky AA, Klump KL. Genes, personality, and attachment in adults: A multivariate behavioral genetic analysis. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 2008; 34(1): 3-16.
  15. Davila J, Bradbury TN. Attachment insecurity and the distinction between unhappy spouses who do and do not divorce. J Fam Psychol 2001; 15(3): 371-93.
  16. Hollist CS, Miller RB. Perceptions of attachment style and marital quality in middle marriage. Fam Relat 2005; 54: 46-57.
  17. Pearce ZJ. Attributions as a mediator between attachment style and couple relationship outcomes. Ph.D. Dissertation. Griffith University, 2005: 58-61.
  18. Mikulincer M, Florian V. The association between spouses’ self-reports of attachment styles and representations of family dynamics. Fam Process 1999; 38(1): 69-83.
  19. Mazaheri MA. [The role of adult attachment in action marriages productivity]. Journal of psychology 2000; 4(3): 286-318. (Persian)
  20. Wijngaards-de Meij L, Stroebe M, Schut H, Stroebe W, Bout  J, Heijden  P, et al.  Neuroticism and attachment insecurity as predictors of bereavement outcome. J Res Pers 2007; 41: 498-505.
  21. Rejaee A, Nayeri M, Sedaghati Sh. [Different attachment styles and marital satisfaction]. Journal of Iranian psychologists 2009; 3: 347-55. (Persian)
  22. Rasoli Z, Farahbakhsh K. [Relationship between attachment styles and marital adjustment control source]. Andisheh va Raftar 1999; 4(13): 17-24. (Persian)
  23. Hafezi F, Gameinegad F. [The relationship between love, positive and negative affect and attachment styles with marital satisfaction in National Drilling Company staff in Khuzestan]. New findings in the psychology 2010; 1(1): 41-52. (Persian)
  24. Rezazadeh MR, Dadsetan P, Ejae G, Kiamanesh AR. [Relationship between attachment styles and marital adjustment in students]. Journal of psychology 2006; 10(4): 458-69. (Persian)
  25. Aidi R, Khangani Z. [The study of satisfaction in the different attachment styles]. Psychological journal of Tabriz University 2006; 1(2): 165-93. (Persian)
  26. Kenney DA, Kashy DA, Cook WL. Dyadic data analysis. New York: Guilford; 2006: 100-19.
  27. Bradbury TN, Fincham DF, Beach SR. Research on the nature and determinants of marital satisfaction: A decade in review. J Marr Fam 2000; 62(4): 964-80.
  28. Carter B, McGoldrick M. Overview: The expanded family life cycle: Individual, family, and social perspectives. In: Carter B, McGoldrick M. (editors). The expanded family life cycle: Individual, family, and social perspectives. 3rd ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon; 1999: 25-8.
  29. Greenberg JS. Comprehensive stress management. London:                                                                              McGraw-Hill Humanities; 2004: 224-5.   
  30. Sanaee B. [Marriage and family assessment scales]. Tehran: Besat; 2008: 41,152. (Persian)
  31.  Farahan H, Oreizy HR. [Advanced research methods in humanities]. Isfahan: Jihad Daneshgahi; 2005: 161. (Persian)
  32. Fraley RC, Waller, NG, Brennan KA. An item response theory analysis of self-report measures of adult attachment. J Pers Soc Psychol 2000; 78(2): 350-65.
  33. Sibley CG, Fischer R, Liu JH. Reliability and validity of the revised experiences in close relationships (ECR-R) self-report measure of adult romantic attachment. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 2005; 31(11): 1524-36.
  34. Fairchild AJ, Finney SJ. Investigating validity evidence for the experiences in close relationships-revised questionnaire. Educ Psychol Meas 2006; 66(1): 116-35.
  35. Botlani S. [Couple therapy based on attachment theory on satisfaction and sexual intimacy of couples in Isfahan]. MS. Dissertation. University of Isfahan, 2008: 189-90. (Persian)
  36. Ghasemi V. [Structural equation modeling in social studies with application of Amos graphic]. Tehran: Jameshenasan; 2009: 129-75. (Persian)
  37. Nilforooshan P. [Structural equation model of quality of marital relationship based on psychological characteristics of spouses]. Ph.D. Dissertation. Isfahan University, 2010: 152-82. (Persian)
  38. Zamanimonfared A. [The relationship between marital satisfaction and the assertiveness ability]. MS. Dissertation. Tehran: University of Allameh Tabatabai, 1997: 89-92. (Persian)
  39. Shabani Hesar H. [The relationship between socioeconomic status couples with life satisfaction]. MS. Dissertation. Tehran: University of Allameh Tabatabai, 1999: 177-8. (Persian)
  40. Attari Y, Amanolahifard A, Mehrabizadeh M. [The relationship between personality characteristics and personal-family factors with marital satisfaction in employees of government offices in Ahwaz]. Journal of educational sciences and psychology 2006; 13(3): 81-108. (Persian)
  41. Jahonson MS. [Introduction to attachment: guidance for clinicians in the recognition and reconstruction of early relationships]. Bahrami F. (translator). Tehran: Danjeh; 2008: 21-45. (Persian)
  42. Ben-Ari A, Lavee Y. Dyadic characteristics of individual attributes: Attachment, neuroticism, and their relation to marital quality and closeness. Am J Orthopsychiatr 2005; 75(4): 621-31.