All you need is love? Strengths mediate the negative associations between attachment orientations and life satisfaction

Shiri Lavy, Hadassah Littman-Ovadia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Several studies link attachment insecurities with lower levels of life satisfaction. Positive psychology studies link character strengths, especially those associated with social interactions (i.e., love and gratitude) or optimism (hope and zest), with higher levels of life satisfaction. We hypothesized that the negative associations between insecure attachment and life satisfaction is mediated by low endorsement of such strengths. In this study 394 individuals completed the ECR measure of attachment orientations, the VIA-IS measure of virtues and character strengths, and the SWLS measure of life satisfaction. Results showed that most strengths were negatively associated with both avoidant and anxious attachment orientations. A bootstrapping procedure revealed that: (a) Love, zest, gratitude and hope fully mediated the association between avoidance and lower life satisfaction. (b) Hope, curiosity and perspective partially mediated the association between attachment anxiety and life satisfaction. These findings suggest that the mechanisms underlying life satisfaction are different for avoidant and for anxious individuals, although hope is prevalent for both attachment orientations. The theoretical and clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1055
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume50
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Attachment
  • Avoidance
  • Character strength
  • Life satisfaction
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)

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