The Contributions of Attachment and Caregiving Orientations to Living a Meaningful Life


This study adopted Bowlby’s (1982) behavioral systems perspective on meaning in life by focusing on two behavioural systems discussed by Bowlby: attachment and caregiving. Three hypotheses were formulated: 1) attachment orientations will predict meaning in life; 2) caregiving orientations will predict meaning in life; 3) attachment will moderate the associations between caregiving and sense of meaning in life. Three hundred thirteen adults completed self-report scales measuring attachment, caregiving, and two aspects of meaning in life (presence of meaning and searching for meaning). Results indicated that attachment insecurities (anxiety and avoidance), caregiving deactivation, and the interaction between attachment anxiety and caregiving deactivation contributed uniquely to the prediction of meaning in life. In addition, religiosity contributed significantly to the presence of meaning. Finally, attachment anxiety and caregiving deactivation predicted searching for meaning. The study shows that a behavioral systems perspective can contribute to the literature on meaning in life.

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Reizer, A. , Dahan, D. & Shaver, P. (2013). The Contributions of Attachment and Caregiving Orientations to Living a Meaningful Life. Psychology, 4, 1039-1045. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.412151.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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