Relational savoring is the process of focusing one’s attention on the pleasurable parts of a relationship experience, and recent work has explored its relation to attachment styles. This study examined the relationship between attachment insecurity and the quality of responses to a relational savoring task among 63 mothers of children aged 9–12, testing the hypothesis that rumination mediated the relationship between greater attachment insecurity and lower quality savoring responses. Quality of savoring responses was measured two ways—on a macro level, via a global coding measure, as well as on a micro level, using word count analysis. Results indicated that greater attachment insecurity was related to lower quality relational savoring responses, and that in the case of attachment avoidance, maternal rumination mediated this relationship. These findings underscore the link between maternal attachment insecurity and poorer quality savoring, with preliminary cross-sectional findings pointing to rumination as an indirect effect explaining the link between attachment avoidance and poorer quality savoring. An inability to relish the positive aspects of parent–child interactions may be one factor underlying insecure parents’ insensitive caregiving and their diminished satisfaction in parenting. If replicated, these findings could have implications for clinical intervention using relational savoring.
Source: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships