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Interpersonal attachment predicts identification with groups

Crisp, R.J.; Farrow, C.V.; Rosenthal, H.E.S.; Walsh, J.; Blissett, J.; Penn, Nicola M.K.


C.V. Farrow

H.E.S. Rosenthal

J. Walsh

J. Blissett

Nicola M.K. Penn


We propose a model documenting the relationship between interpersonal attachment style and identification with groups. We hypothesized that following threat to a romantic interpersonal relationship higher attachment anxiety would be associated with lowered tendencies to identify with groups. In two studies using varied social groups we observed support for this hypothesis. In Experiment 1 we found that participants higher in attachment anxiety identified less with a salient ingroup after imagining a distressing argument with their romantic partner. In Experiment 2 we replicated these findings using an implicit measure of social identification and additionally observed a moderating role for attachment avoidance. We discuss the implications of these findings for theoretical models of interpersonal attachment and social identification.


Crisp, R., Farrow, C., Rosenthal, H., Walsh, J., Blissett, J., & Penn, N. M. (2009). Interpersonal attachment predicts identification with groups. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(1), 115-122.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Sep 30, 2008
Publication Date Jan 1, 2009
Deposit Date May 23, 2012
Journal Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Print ISSN 0022-1031
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 1
Pages 115-122