5 years ago

The impact of attachment orientations on empathy in adults: Considering the mediating role of emotion regulation strategies and negative affectivity

The current studies explored whether individual differences in emotion regulation strategies and negative affectivity would mediate the relationship between attachment security and empathy. Attachment theory was used as a framework to examine the influence of both dispositional and experimentally enhanced attachment security. In Study 1, attachment security predicted cognitive empathy through the mediation of reappraisal. In Study 2, we experimentally enhanced attachment security. This priming led to lower suppression, rumination, and negative affectivity, but did not increase empathic responding. Mediation analyses showed that attachment security promoted cognitive empathy through reappraisal, suppression, and rumination. Overall, these results support the notion that more securely attached persons are able to experience greater levels of cognitive empathy due to reappraising their emotions, rather than suppressing or ruminating on them.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0191886917306384

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