Title

The Mediating Role of Attachment Behaviors on the Relationship Between Family-of-Origin and Couple Communication: Implications for Couples Therapy

Keywords

marriage/couple relationship functioning, marriage risk factors, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), marital strengths

Abstract

The authors examined the mediating impact of couples’ attachment behaviors on the relationship between family-of-origin experiences and marital communication quality. The couple data for this study were collected from the Relationship Evaluation (RELATE) database (see www.relate-institute.org). An Actor Partner Interdependence Model using structural equation modeling was used to evaluate 261 marriage relationships. Results indicated that the relationships between family-of-origin experiences and communication quality are significantly related, with more family-of-origin problems associated with poorer positive communication skills. When attachment behaviors (accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement) were added to the model, it significantly mediated the relationship. Implications for clinicians treating couples who present with communication problems are discussed, as are directions for future research.

Original Publication Citation

Knapp, D., Sandberg, J., Novak, J., & Larson, J. (2014). The Mediating Role of Attachment Behaviors on the Relationship Between Family-of-Origin and Couple Communication: Implications for Couples Therapy. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 14, 17-38.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2015-01-20

Publisher

Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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