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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Richard Crisp

Rosenthal, H. E. S., Walsh, J., Crisp, R. J., Farrow, C. V., Waugh, M. J., Blissett, J. & Millings, A. (2012). Attachment anxiety and friendship group identification under attachment threat: the moderating role of priming support network expectations. Personality and Individual Differences 53(5): 562-567.

Author(s) from Durham


We examined the role of priming participants’ own network expectations on their subsequent identification with their friendship group. We examined this prime alongside attachment anxiety and attachment threat, as predictors of friendship group identification. Previous research has suggested that attachment anxiety is associated with negative network expectations. In this study, we extended this work to show that when a network expectation prime was absent, higher attachment anxiety was associated with lower group identification under attachment threat, compared to a control condition. However, when expectations of support network were primed, attachment threat no longer affected group identification, so that only attachment anxiety predicted group identification. This suggests that priming participants who are high in attachment anxiety with their own network expectancies (which are negative), results in participants dis-identifying with their friendship group, regardless of whether or not they have experienced attachment threat.