Attachment style moderates the relationship between solitude and marital satisfaction: The cross-partner effects

Shumin ZHANG, Tianyuan LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Considering the interdependence between close partners, the present study examined how the amount of one's alone time was related to both one's own and the partner's relationship satisfaction in married couples. It also tested how attachment style moderated the within- and cross-partner associations between the experience of solitude and marital satisfaction. 
Background: Solitude reflects a status of being alone without any active social interactions. It can be related to either positive or negative affects depending on the circumstances. The role that solitude plays in close relationships is understudied in previous research. 
Method: Using data from 105 married couples from mainland China, both actor and partner effects and the moderating effect of attachment style were tested using the moderated actor–partner interdependence model (MAPIM). 
Results: Two cross-partner interactions between solitude and attachment style on husbands' marital satisfaction were identified. When wives reported high anxiety, the more husbands spent alone time, the lower was their reported marital satisfaction. When husbands reported high avoidance, the more wives spent time alone, the higher was their husbands reported marital satisfaction. No significant association between solitude and wives' marital satisfaction was found. 
Conclusions and Implications: The results reveal the intricate role that solitude plays in marital relationships and highlight the importance to consider cross-partner effects when studying dyadic interactions. Copyright © 2021 National Council on Family Relations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFamily Relations
Early online dateJul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 2021

Citation

Zhang, S., & Li, T. (2021). Attachment style moderates the relationship between solitude and marital satisfaction: The cross-partner effects. Family Relations. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/fare.12576

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Attachment
  • Avoidance
  • Marital satisfaction
  • Solitude
  • PG student publication

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