Interpersonal attachment predicts identification with groups

Richard Crisp, Claire V. Farrow, Harriet E.S. Rosenthal, Judi Walsh, Jackie Blissett, Nicola M.K. Penn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of experimental social psychology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Crisp, RJ, Farrow, CV, Rosenthal, HES, Walsh, J, Blissett, J & Penn, NMK, 'Interpersonal attachment predicts identification with groups' Journal of experimental social psychology, vol. 45, no. 1 (2009) DOI


  • attachment
  • interpersonal relations
  • social identification


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