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Attachment, group attraction and self-other agreement in interpersonal circumplex problems and perceptions of group members

Author(s): Chen EC, Mallinckrodt B

Abstract

Graduate students (N=76) fulfilling a class requirement for interpersonal group participation completed measures of interpersonal problems and adult attachment at pretest. At the midpoint and at termination they completed measures of interpersonal problems and group attraction and provided interpersonal circumplex ratings of each fellow group member. As predicted, selected attachment insecurities were significantly correlated with interpersonal problems and group attraction. Attachment anxiety and avoidance, also as hypothesized, were associated with discrepancies in self-other perceptions. Whereas members with attachment avoidance tended to overestimate hostile and hostile-submissive problems, members with attachment anxiety were likely to overestimate interpersonal problems in the "friendly" half of the circumplex. Implications for the conceptualization of attachment-based distortions and interpersonal learning in group therapy are discussed.

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