Psychology, Department of



Julia C. Torquati

Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Adolescent Research 19:6 (November 2004), pp. 740-758. Copyright © 2004 Sage Publications. Used by permission.


This study examined daily emotions and social contexts of young adults who differed in global attachment style (secure vs. insecure). Sixty-nine college students (41% male, 59% female) completed self-report measures of attachment and provided timesampling data on moods, companionship, and activities using the experience sampling method. Secure (n = 41) and insecure (n = 28) young adults spent a similar proportion of time with familiar intimates and alone. Secure individuals reported significantly more positive affect, higher levels of energy, and more connection than insecure individuals when they were alone and higher levels of energy and connection in the context of familiar intimates. Secure participants were more likely to report extreme positive emotions, and insecure participants were more likely to report extreme negative emotions, especially when they were alone. Insecure individuals did not report either more labile or flatter emotions than did secure individuals. Results are consistent with the conceptualization of attachment style as an organizational construct for emotion.