Cluster A Symptoms and Couple Satisfaction: The Mediating Role of Attachment Insecurity
Kristel Mayrand, Yvan Lussier, Claudia Savard, St├ęphane Sabourin

Background: Previous studies have found that higher Cluster A (i.e., paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal ) personality disorder symptoms were negatively associated with lower couple satisfaction in non-clinical samples of couples (South, 2014; South et al., 2008; Stroud et al., 2010). However, little is known about the process underlying these associations. The current study aimed to test the mediating role of attachment anxiety and avoidance in the associations between Cluster A symptoms and couple satisfaction using an actor-partner interdependence mediation model (APIMeM). Method: A sample of 138 non-clinical heterosexual couples completed self-report measures of personality disorders (Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory- III), attachment (Experiences in Close Relationships), and couple satisfaction (Dyadic Adjustment Scale). Results: Attachment anxiety and avoidance significantly mediated the associations between Cluster A symptoms and couple satisfaction through actor (paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal) and partner (paranoid) effects. Moreover, differentiated patterns of associations were found regarding the types of Cluster A symptoms and the two attachment dimensions. Clinical Implications: Treating attachment insecurity in therapy to develop more adaptative emotional reactions in close relationships may contribute to attenuating the disabling interpersonal deficits related to Cluster A symptoms, and thus, enhance couple satisfaction of both partners.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jpbs.v9n2a2