Attachment patterns of Arabs and Jews in Israel -are we really so different?

Shiri Lavy, Faisal Azaiza, Mario Mikulincer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Attachment orientations reflect internal representations of self, others, and relationships. Studies revealed meaningful cultural differences in attachment orientations, but few included Arab samples. To fill this gap, we compared attachment orientations of Jews and Arabs in Israel using valid measures. Method: Israeli participants (292 Arabs and 206 Jews) described their attachment figures and completed the Experiences in Close Relationships questionnaire which measures anxious and avoidant attachment orientations in Arabic and Hebrew, respectively. Results: Israeli Arabs reported higher attachment anxiety than Israeli Jews, but no difference was found in avoidance. Both groups reported that attachment figures were similar in gender and relationship type, and included romantic partners, relatives and friends. Limitations: Findings should be considered cautiously due to sampling limitations. Conclusions: The results complement previous cross-cultural findings and Arabs-Jews differences in relationship-related norms/values. Higher attachment-anxiety scores observed among Israeli Arabs may be considered culturally normative with implications for the development of culturally competent interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-193
Number of pages10
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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