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Drenger, M. Mikulincer, M. Berant, E. (2017). Attachment Orientations and Adult Crying. Psychoanal. Psychol., 34(3):311-321.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(3):311-321

Attachment Orientations and Adult Crying

Michal Drenger, Ph.D., Mario Mikulincer, Ph.D. and Ety Berant, Ph.D.

The current research aimed at increasing existing knowledge about crying in adulthood. In 2 studies, we examined the contribution of individual differences in attachment orientation to the behavior and experience of adult crying. First, we examined links between attachment dimensions and different aspects of crying behavior. Second, we explored adult's subjective experience of crying, which was assessed with the Crying Experience Scale (CES), constructed especially for this study, and examined associations between this experience and attachment dimensions. Findings revealed a relationship between attachment style and the way one uses crying and experiences it. Specifically, findings indicated that attachment anxiety was associated with an exaggerated and emotionally ambivalent crying experience, whereas attachment avoidance was associated with a more restricted and negative experience of crying. Results are discussed regarding the value of attachment theory for the study of crying, focusing on developmental and interpersonal dynamics of the crying experience.

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