Partners' relationship mindfulness promotes better daily relationship behaviours for insecurely attached individuals

Taranah Gazder, Sarah C. E. Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Attachment anxiety and avoidance are generally associated with detrimental relationship processes, including more negative and fewer positive relationship behaviours. However, recent theoretical and empirical evidence has shown that positive factors can buffer insecure attachment. We hypothesised that relationship mindfulness (RM)—open or receptive attention to and awareness of what is taking place internally and externally in a current relationship—may promote better day-to-day behaviour for both anxious and avoidant individuals, as mindfulness improves awareness of automatic responses, emotion regulation, and empathy. In a dyadic daily experience study, we found that, while an individual’s own daily RM did not buffer the effects of their own insecure attachment on same-day relationship behaviours, their partner’s daily RM did, particularly for attachment avoidance. Our findings for next-day relationship behaviours, on the other hand, showed that lower (vs. higher) prior-day RM was associated with higher positive partner behaviours on the following day for avoidant individuals and those with anxious partners, showing this may be an attempt to “make up” for the previous day. These findings support the Attachment Security Enhancement Model and have implications for examining different forms of mindfulness over time and for mindfulness training.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7267
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number19
Early online date5 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Oct 2020


  • attachment
  • mindfulness
  • dyadic data
  • longitudinal
  • relationships


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