Difficulty managing the stress of conflict in close relationships can lead to mental and physical health problems, possibly through dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the neuroendocrine stress response system. Temperament, an individual characteristic, and attachment, a dyadic characteristic, have both been implicated in emotion regulation processes and physiological reactivity, yet there is no clear consensus on how the two work together to influence the stress response, especially after childhood. The present study investigated the ways in which temperament and attachment together predict HPA response in emerging adult couples. Analyses using multilevel modeling (HLM) found that partners' dyadic fit on attachment avoidance impacted females' cortisol response patterns, and attachment avoidance further moderated the effect of males' emotionality on both their own and their partners' cortisol. Results are discussed in terms of emotional coregulation processes in romantic attachment.
- Emotion regulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology