Adult attachment, stage of threat, and romantic jealousy in relation to psychopathological symptoms: importance of personal characteristics and quality of relationship

Arslan, Selen
The present study aimed (1) to examine differences of certain personal and relational variables on romantic jealousy; (2) to examine differentiation of romantic jealousy expressions according to adult attachment styles in different stages of threat; (3) to investigate associations of romantic jealousy with psychopathological symptomatology. Data was collected from 366 adults, having a romantic relationship for at least six months and, their ages ranged from 18 to 65. Results revealed that romantic jealousy differed according to gender and age, relationship status, relationship duration, and quality of sharing. Although the relationship between adult attachment and jealousy did not differ according to stage of threat, important interactions emerged. Firstly, both emotional and communicational expressions of jealousy were higher among preoccupied and fearful individuals than secure and dismissive ones. Emotional intensity differed according emotion typeacross different attachment groups as well as stage of threat. Similarly, communicational expressions differed according to communicational expression types across attachment groups as well as stage of threat. After controlling for personal characteristics, relational variables, attachment styles, and personality traits, more frequent use of Rival Contact and Denial/Avoidance, less frequent use of Direct Communication, and more intense levels of sadness in jealousy-evoking situations predicted psychopathological symptoms. These findings indicated that there were a number of personal and relational variables playing role on romantic jealousy, expressions of jealousy differ according to attachment styles and according to stage of threat separately, and after controlling for important factors related to psychopathology, specific expressions of jealousy continued to predict psychopathological symptoms.