Romantic Attachment Orientations, Financial Behaviors, and Life Outcomes Among Young Adults: A Mediating Analysis of a College Cohort

Abstract

Guided by the Vulnerability-Adaption-Stress model (Karney and Bradbury 1995), we used data from 635 college-educated young adults to examine associations between romantic attachment orientations (i.e., attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance) and young adults’ life outcomes (i.e., financial satisfaction, life satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction; Aim 1). We also conducted a mediating model to examine indirect associations from romantic attachment orientations to life outcomes via young adult’s own financial behaviors and perceived partners’ financial behavior (i.e., each young adult’s perception of their partner's financial behaviors; Aim 2). For Aim 1, high attachment anxiety and/or high attachment avoidance was associated with low life satisfaction and low relationship satisfaction. For Aim 2, high attachment anxiety was associated with low financial satisfaction and low life satisfaction via young adults' own less responsible financial behaviors. Further for Aim 2, high attachment anxiety and high attachment avoidance were associated with low relationship satisfaction via perceived partners’ less responsible financial behavior. Across these two aims, we found that romantic attachment orientations were associated with financial behaviors and, in turn, life outcomes. We suggest researchers and practitioners consider romantic attachment orientations when seeking to understand and improve financial behaviors and life outcomes among young adults.

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Li, X., Curran, M., LeBaron, A.B. et al. Romantic Attachment Orientations, Financial Behaviors, and Life Outcomes Among Young Adults: A Mediating Analysis of a College Cohort. J Fam Econ Iss 41, 658–671 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-020-09664-1

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Keywords

  • Financial behaviors
  • Indirect associations
  • Life outcomes
  • Romantic attachment orientations
  • Young adults