Intimacy and Couple Satisfaction: The Moderating Role of Romantic Attachment

  •  Cathy Dandurand    
  •  Marie-France Lafontaine    


The present study extends findings regarding the established relation between intimacy (emotional and sexual)
and couple satisfaction by investigating dyadic processes of intimacy (actor and partner effects) and the
moderating role of gender and insecure romantic attachment on this relation. Using a sample of 117 heterosexual
couples, results analyzed through an Actor-Partner-Interdependence Model revealed that only actor and partner
emotional intimacy were significantly and positively related with actor couple satisfaction when examined
simultaneously with sexual intimacy; stronger effects were revealed for actor versus partner emotional intimacy.
Actor avoidant attachment was also found to moderate the aforementioned association, such that a decreased
positive relation was demonstrated between actor emotional intimacy and actor couple satisfaction. Thus, results
suggest that emotional intimacy may play a less important role in the attainment of satisfactory couple
relationships amongst individuals exhibiting higher attachment avoidance. The myriad of additional practical and
clinical implications of findings are discussed.

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