The bond that breaks: The role of attachment style and gender on forgiving a sexual infidelity among African Americans

Joshua Waonsila Rackley, Tennessee State University

Abstract

This research explores the relationship and influence of anxious attachment style, avoidant attachment style, and gender on forgiving a sexual infidelity. One-hundredfifty-two African American participants were recruited from undergraduate psychology and nursing classes at a southern HBCU. These participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Experiences in Close Relationships scale (Brennan, Clark, & Shaver, 1998), and the Forgiveness Scale (Rye, 1998). Two multiple linear regression models, one simple linear regression model, two ANOVAs, two semipartial correlations, and a paired samples t-test were used to analyze the data. While some of the results closely aligned with the initial hypotheses, other elements proved to be surprising. The results indicated that attachment style was a predictor of forgiveness, and specifically, that total forgiveness scores were more dependent on anxious attachment than avoidant attachment. Surprisingly, gender was not found to be a predictor of forgiveness. However, as hypothesized, when mediated by high levels of either attachment style gender was not related to forgiveness. The most unexpected findings revealed participants who were high on either insecure attachment subscale, as defined by Brennan et al. (1998), that avoidant attachment was the primary predictor and anxious attachment was not significant. These findings highlight the need for further research into attachment style, gender, and forgiveness among African Americans.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Counseling

Recommended Citation

Joshua Waonsila Rackley, "The bond that breaks: The role of attachment style and gender on forgiving a sexual infidelity among African Americans" (2014). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3641779.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3641779

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