Love Addiction, Attachment Styles, Parental Bonding during Childhood and Adolescence and Couple’s Quality: which relationship?
Sonia Mangialavori1 & Marco Cacioppo1
1 Department of Human Sciences, LUMSA, University of Rome
Key words: Love Addiction; Attachment Styles; Parental Bonding; Couple’s Satisfaction; Gender
The study of new addictions is increasingly pointing out that some forms of love are forms of addiction, and that these can be potentially more destructive and prevalent than classic, widely recognized drugs. For this reason, the aim of this study was to explore separately for men and women the relationship between emotional addiction, attachment styles, parental bonding that occurred during childhood and adolescence and the couple’s satisfaction in a group of Italian young adults and adults. 291 women (Mage: 31.8; standard deviation: 11.4) and 104 men (Mage: 32.8; standard deviation: 11.8) participated in the study and completed the following measures: Love Attitudes Scale (LAS), Relationship Questionnaire (RQ), Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) and Quality Marriage Index (QMI). The results of the correlational analysis showed that for both women and men, fearful and preoccupied attachment styles, excessive maternal control received during childhood and adolescence were positively correlated with love addiction, while, just for women, a secure attachment style, empathic and sensitive parental care and relationship satisfaction were negatively associated with love addiction. For men, on the other hand, only secure attachment and relationship satisfaction were negatively correlated with love addiction. In line with these results, it would be recommendable to develop preventive interventions that take into account the role of early relational experiences as well as the different nature and the different weight that parental care and control received during the first 16 years of life and couple’s satisfaction have for men and women in the formation and maintenance of a potential love addiction.