Publication Date

2014

Abstract

We recently showed that security priming facilitates safe haven support and overrides the detrimental effects of mental depletion (Mikulincer, Shaver, Sahdra, & Bar-On, 2013, Can security-enhancing interventions overcome psychological barriers to responsiveness in couple relationships? Attachment & Human Development, 15, 246–260.). Here, we extend these findings by examining another contextual barrier to caregiving (self-worth threat) and the effects of security priming on secure base support. In Study 1, participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions based on self-worth threat (yes, no) and security priming (yes, no) manipulations, and their behaviors were video recorded while they interacted with their romantic partner who was disclosing a personal problem. In Study 2, participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions based on depletion (yes, no) and security priming (yes, no) manipulations, and their behaviors were videotaped while they interacted with their romantic partner who was exploring personal goals. In both studies, independent judges rated participants’ responsiveness to their partner’s needs during the videotaped interaction. Self-esteem threat and mental depletion adversely affected responsiveness to a partner’s disclosures. Security priming facilitated responsiveness in both studies and overrode the detrimental effects of mental depletion on secure base support.

Document Type

Journal Article

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