Attachment and Marriage

Authored by: Gary Creasey , Patricia Jarvis

Handbook of Research on Adult Learning and Development

Print publication date:  November  2008
Online publication date:  November  2008

Print ISBN: 9780805858198
eBook ISBN: 9780203887882
Adobe ISBN: 9781135597405


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An objective of this chapter is to articulate theory and research that may help us better understand successful marital processes and outcomes. Quite understandably, there are many theories that attempt to explain long-term marital stability, and there are numerous comprehensive analyses concerning conceptual, methodological and theoretical issues related to this field (Karney & Bradbury, 1995; Gottman & Notarius, 2002). Such another analysis is not the objective of the present review, rather, in this chapter; the role of adult attachment functioning in predicting important marital outcomes will be specified. This particular approach is not entirely novel, in that there is both existing theory (Karney & Bradbury, 1995) and research (e.g., Treboux, Crowell, & Waters, 2004) that have attempted to better establish such links. On the other hand, we suggest herein that such theory and research have not been well integrated, and links between attachment functioning and relationship success primarily are limited to studies involving college student dating couples. Although such research has paved some important groundwork in this area, it is unreasonable to predict that research findings from one very select population automatically generalize to another.

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