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Examining relations among attachment, religiosity, and new age spirituality using the Adult Attachment Interview

Journal article
Authors Pehr Granqvist
Tord Ivarsson
Anders G Broberg
Berit Hagekull
Published in Developmental Psychology
Volume 43
Issue 3
Pages 590-601
ISSN 0012-1649
Publication year 2007
Published at Department of Psychology
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 590-601
Language en
Keywords Adult Attachment Interview, religion, religious change, God image, New Age
Subject categories Psychology


This study was the first to examine relations between attachment and religion–spirituality in adults using a developmentally validated attachment assessment, the Adult Attachment Interview. Security of attach- ment was expected to be linked to a religiosity–spirituality that is socially based on the parental relationships and reflects extrapolation of attachment experiences with sensitive parents to perceived relationships with a loving God. Insecurity of attachment was expected to be related to religiosity–spirituality via emotional compensation for states of insecurity. Participants (N 84; 40% men; mean age 29 years) were drawn from religious–spiritual groups. Religiousness–spirituality was assessed with questionnaires. Results generally supported the hypotheses ( ps .05). Estimates of parental loving were linked to socially based religiosity, loving God images, and gradual religious changes occurring at early ages and in life contexts indicating a positive influence of close relationships. Estimates of parental rejection and role reversal were related to New Age spirituality and sudden–intense religious changes occurring in life contexts of turmoil. Current attachment state of mind was generally unrelated to traditional religiosity, but current preoccupation, unresolved– disorganized, and cannot classify states were associated with New Age spirituality

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