Cultural Aspects of Attachment Anxiety, Avoidance, and Life Satisfaction: Comparing the US and Turkey

  • Nebi SümerEmail author
  • Orkun Yetkili
Part of the Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology book series (CAPP, volume 13)


Attachment insecurity can interfere with the experience, expression, and benefits of positive emotions, including happiness and life satisfaction (LS). However, both the pattern and effects of insecure attachment orientations on LS vary across cultures. Considering that attachment anxiety is higher in collectivist cultures and attachment avoidance is relatively high in individualistic cultures, the present chapter elaborates on the idea that anxious and avoidant attachment would have varying effects on LS in individualistic and collectivistic cultural contexts. Study 1 (N = 2456) involved a community sample of married couples in Turkey and demonstrated that attachment avoidance was a stronger predictor of LS than attachment anxiety in Turkish collectivist context. Study 2 tested the hypothesis that the roles of attachment anxiety and avoidance in predicting LS would vary between collectivistic and individualistic cultures. Mothers’ adult attachment dimensions and LS in Turkey (N = 89) and the United States (N = 91) were measured. As expected, results indicated that LS was predicted only by attachment avoidance in Turkey and by attachment anxiety in the United States. These findings are in line with the cultural fit hypothesis, suggesting that culturally incongruent attachment orientations have a stronger negative impact on individuals’ LS.


Attachment anxiety Attachment avoidance Culture Life satisfaction Happiness 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.University of WestminsterLondonUK

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