Social Indicators Research

, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 823–852 | Cite as

Adult Attachment, Love Styles, Relationship Experiences and Subjective Well-Being: Cross-Cultural and Gender Comparison between Americans, Portuguese, and Mozambicans

  • Iolanda Costa GalinhaEmail author
  • Shigehiro Oishi
  • Cicero Roberto Pereira
  • Derrick Wirtz
  • Francisco Esteves


Attachment security, love styles, and romantic relationship experiences are closely associated with subjective well-being (SWB). A few studies have empirically observed significant relations between these variables. However, no studies have included all of these predictors to analyze the unique contribution of each to SWB, and no cross-cultural studies have analyzed these variables simultaneously. This article examined (a) the relations between attachment security, love styles, romantic relationship experiences and subjective well-being, (b) the unique contribution of each to predict SWB, and (c) cross-cultural and gender differences in the predictors of SWB across three samples of 1,574 university students: 497 from North Carolina (US), 544 from Maputo (Mozambique), and 533 from Lisbon (Portugal). We found cross-cultural differences in the three samples. The main predictor of SWB was attachment security in the US and Portuguese samples, while in the Mozambican it was eros love style. Storge love style positively predicted SWB in the US and Portuguese samples, but not in the Mozambican. In contrast, mania love style predicted the SWB of Mozambicans but not that of Americans or Portuguese. We found gender similarities and differences: the association between attachment security and SWB was not gender-specific; the associations between love styles, relationship experiences and SWB were gender-specific.


Adult attachment Love styles Relationship experiences Subjective well-being Cross-cultural Gender 



We thank the Universities—Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa; East Carolina University; Instituto Superior Técnico; Lusófona University; Eduardo Mondlane University—the teachers and the students who gave their time to freely participate in this study. Project Financed by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia BPD/26479/2006.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iolanda Costa Galinha
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shigehiro Oishi
    • 3
  • Cicero Roberto Pereira
    • 4
  • Derrick Wirtz
    • 5
  • Francisco Esteves
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Universidade Autónoma de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.CIS-Centre for Psychological Research and Social InterventionInstituto Universitário de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Social SciencesUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  5. 5.East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  6. 6.Mid Sweden UniversityLisbonPortugal

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