Attachment and Relationship Quality: A Longitudinal Cross-Lagged Panel Model Examining the Association of Attachment Styles and Relationship Quality in Married Couples

Meagan Cahoon Alder, Brigham Young University


This is a longitudinal cross-lagged panel model examining the bi-directional association of attachment styles and relationship quality in a community sample of 355 married couples, with at least one child between 10-14 years of age at the beginning of the study and 17-21 years of age at the end of the study. An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM), was used to test for actor and partner effects, thereby accounting for the non-independent nature of the data. Two separate APIM models were tested with Male Attachment predicting Female Relationship Quality and Female Attachment predicting Male Relationship Quality. Results indicate that own attachment was a stronger predictor of partner relationship quality over time than was own relationship quality to partner attachment; although male relationship quality did predict female attachment from T1 to T3, it was not significant at all other time points. Clinical implications and future research are discussed.