Adult Attachment, Cultural Orientation and Sacrifice in Couples: A Comparison between American and Chinese Samples

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The present study examined the effects of adult attachment and cultural orientation on sacrifice behaviors and the corresponding emotional reactions, using a cross-cultural sample in the U.S. and China. Strain-tests protocol was utilized in this study, in which an individual (i.e., the asker) was asked to share with their romantic partner a personal goal that required a major sacrifice from their partner (i.e., the responder), and then entered a discussion to process their plan of carrying out this goal. The final sample included 115 couples from the U.S. and 99 couples from China. Results indicated that responder's attachment avoidance was ... continued below

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Zhu, Wenzhen August 2019.

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  • Zhu, Wenzhen

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The present study examined the effects of adult attachment and cultural orientation on sacrifice behaviors and the corresponding emotional reactions, using a cross-cultural sample in the U.S. and China. Strain-tests protocol was utilized in this study, in which an individual (i.e., the asker) was asked to share with their romantic partner a personal goal that required a major sacrifice from their partner (i.e., the responder), and then entered a discussion to process their plan of carrying out this goal. The final sample included 115 couples from the U.S. and 99 couples from China. Results indicated that responder's attachment avoidance was negatively associated with sacrifice offered to their partners and they reported more positive emotions as a result. The interaction between attachment anxiety and nationality was significant. Specifically, in the U.S. sample, individuals with high attachment anxiety were more likely to offer sacrifice for their partners, but this effect was reversed in the Chinese sample. In addition, interdependent self-construal (ISC) was a significant moderator for the relation between attachment anxiety and sacrifice behavior. Individuals who endorsed higher ISC and higher anxious attachment were less likely to make sacrifice for their partner. Furthermore, when individual offered more sacrifice, they reported more positive emotions in general, but this effect was stronger in the Chinese sample than the U.S. sample. In addition, it was found that responders who endorsed higher ISC offered more sacrifice to their partner when asked to. These results advanced our understanding of the complex role of adult attachment in negotiating situations when partners in romantic relationships have different goals, as well as possible cultural differences in the expression of the attachment influences. The findings also highlighted the systemic perspective in understanding the roles of both partners' individual traits (i.e., attachment) and cultural values (i.e., interdependent self-construal) on their behaviors (i.e., sacrifice) in romantic relationships. Counseling implications, limitations, and future research directions were discussed.

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  • August 2019

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  • Aug. 29, 2019, 10:25 a.m.

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Zhu, Wenzhen. Adult Attachment, Cultural Orientation and Sacrifice in Couples: A Comparison between American and Chinese Samples, dissertation, August 2019; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1538783/: accessed September 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .