The Association between Attachment Styles, Satisfaction of Life, Alexithymia, and Psychological Resilience: The Mediational Role of Self-Esteem
Attachment patterns based on early emotional interactions between infant and primary caregiver continue to be influential in adult life, in terms of mental health and behaviors of individuals. Several studies reveal that infant-caregiver relationships have impressed the affect regulation, coping with stressful and negative situations, general satisfaction of life, and self image in adulthood, besides the attachment styles. The present study aims to examine the relationships between university students’ attachment style and their self-esteem, alexithymic features, satisfaction of life, and level of resilience. In line with this aim, the hypothesis of the prediction of attachment styles (anxious and avoidant) over life satisfaction, self-esteem, alexithymia, and psychological resilience was tested. Additionally, in this study Structural Equational Modeling was conducted to investigate the mediational role of self-esteem in the relationship between attachment styles and alexithymia, life satisfaction, and resilience. This model was examined with path analysis. The sample of the research consists of 425 university students who take education from several region of Turkey. The participants who sign the informed consent completed the Demographic Information Form, Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, The Satisfaction with Life Scale, Toronto Alexithymia Scale, and Resilience Scale for Adults. According to results, anxious, and avoidant dimensions of insecure attachment predicted the self-esteem score and alexithymia in positive direction. On the other hand, these dimensions of attachment predicted life satisfaction in negative direction. The results of linear regression analysis indicated that anxious and avoidant attachment styles didn’t predict the resilience. This result doesn’t support the theory and research indicating the relationship between attachment style and psychological resilience. The results of path analysis revealed the mediational role self esteem in the relation between anxious, and avoidant attachment styles and life satisfaction. In addition, SEM analysis indicated the indirect effect of attachment styles over alexithymia and resilience besides their direct effect. These findings support the hypothesis of this research relation to mediating role of self-esteem. Attachment theorists suggest that early attachment experiences, including supportive and responsive family interactions, have an effect on resilience to harmful situations in adult life, ability to identify, describe, and regulate emotions and also general satisfaction with life. Several studies examining the relationship between attachment styles and life satisfaction, alexithymia, and psychological resilience draw attention to mediational role of self-esteem. Results of this study support the theory of attachment patterns with the mediation of self-image influence the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral regulation of person throughout the adulthood. Therefore, it is thought that any intervention intended for recovery in attachment relationship will increase the self-esteem, life satisfaction, and resilience level, on the one side, decrease the alexithymic features, on the other side.