Adult attachment, worry and reassurance seeking: Investigating the role of intolerance of uncertainty

Gavin Clark*, Adam Rock, Laura Clark, Kerrin Murray‐Lyon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
The adult attachment dimension of attachment anxiety has been demonstrated to be associated with a variety of anxiety symptomology, including worry, intolerance of uncertainty (IU) and reassurance seeking. A variety of research has indicated that IU is associated with level of worry and reassurance seeking. The relationships between attachment anxiety, worry, IU and threat‐related reassurance seeking have not been subject to investigation. The present article reports the results of an investigation of these variables within a community sample.

Methods
Three‐hundred and twenty‐eight participants were recruited to complete an online survey in which participants completed the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale‐Revised, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire and the Threat‐related Reassurance Seeking Scale.

Results
Attachment anxiety, IU and worry were correlated with threat‐related reassurance seeking. Consistent with previous research, IU was found to mediate the relationship between attachment anxiety and worry. IU and worry were found to be serial‐multiple mediators in the relationship between attachment anxiety and threat‐related reassurance seeking.

Conclusions
The results of the study suggest IU is likely to play a key role in the relationship between attachment anxiety and worry, as well as the relationship between attachment anxiety and threat‐related reassurance seeking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-305
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume24
Issue number3
Early online date26 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

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