Attachment styles, self-esteem, and patterns of feedback seeking from romantic partners
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Previous research indicates that persons with secure or dismissing attachment styles differ dramatically in their tolerance of and appreciation for intimacy; despite these differences, both types of individuals display high self-esteem. The two groups' interpersonal orientations suggest that their sources of self-esteem may differ. Secure individuals should derive self-esteem from warm associations with others, whereas dismissing individuals, lacking such associations, may learn to compensate by deriving self-esteem from alternative sources. To test these ideas, the authors related attachment styles to two distinct components of self-esteem-self-liking and self-competence. Overall, security was associated with self-liking, whereas dismissing avoidance was associated with self-competence. The former results were qualified somewhat by gender: Although females' security was associated solely with self-liking, males' security was associated with both self-liking and self-competence. Discussion focuses on the role of relationships in the maintenance of self-worth.
Kely A. Brennan and Kathryn A. Morris. "Attachment styles, self-esteem, and patterns of feedback seeking from romantic partners" Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 23 (1997): 23-31.