A content analysis of evidence-based romantic adult attachment articles: How marital satisfaction is impacted by couple reports of spirituality/religiosity



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The purpose of this research was to examine romantic adult attachment theory and how marital satisfaction is impacted by spirituality/religiosity, while also exploring how spirituality influences conflict and communication in marriages. A content analysis was used to further investigate these variables by comparing ten articles from scholarly peer-reviewed journals. The researcher created a Coding Form and taught two coders to code the data by using a Coding Guide. This dissertation was guided by the research questions: “How have research-based articles published in scholarly journals addressed how romantic adult attachment, marital satisfaction, communication, and /or conflict are impacted when spirituality/ religiosity is added as a variable to these studies?” And “What are the gaps and limitations in the research based on romantic adult attachment, marital satisfaction, communication and/or conflict plus spirituality/religiosity when articles from 1992-2017 are considered?” Currently, there is no review of how spirituality/religiosity and romantic adult attachment interact with marital satisfaction, conflict, and communication in a therapeutic environment. Having the knowledge of this interaction will help therapists better use spirituality/religiosity as a factor in their therapeutic process. When the researcher examined the variables in the ten articles, it became apparent that conflict and communication were insufficiently supported by the journal articles. The prominent variables in this content analysis then became spirituality/religiosity and marital satisfaction. It was found that anxiety attachment is not related to some religious coping such as praying or attending faith services. Those with avoidant attachment demonstrated both higher and/or lower religious coping. Another finding was how attachment to God mirrors romantic adult attachment. Marital satisfaction correlated with commitment level and couple’s attitude. Some factors identified as risks or resilience were community, attitude towards divorce, willingness to seek help, commitment, church attendance, prayer, and forgiveness. Future research is needed on how gender impacts both spirituality and attachment. Several of the articles determined that gender impacted attachment, but had inconclusive findings due to limited attention and/or research. Another area where more research is needed is with intercultural/cultural relationships. Family of origin and the impact it has on an adult’s spirituality/religiosity is also needed to be studied more in depth.



Romantic adult attachment theory, Marital satisfaction, Spirituality, Conflict, Communication, Religiosity