The interplay of stress and attachment in individuals weathering loss of employment

Colleen M. Varga, Christopher D. Nettles, Amy L. Whitesel, George W. Howe, Karen L. Weihs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study addressed two questions concerning the interplay between adult romantic attachment and exposure to stressful circumstances: do stressful events predict fluctuation in romantic attachment during a period of unemployment, and does attachment measured at one point predict later changes in stressors? Stressors and attachment were measured over a six month period following involuntary job loss for a sample of 426 adults. Autoregressive models found evidence for both the stress-effects and stress-generation hypotheses, with more stressors associated with prospective decreases in attachment, and lower attachment associated with prospective increases in stressors. These findings support a more dynamic formulation of the interplay between attachment and exposure to stressors over the months following job loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Adult attachment
  • Attachment security
  • Job loss
  • Longitudinal design
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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