Mediating Role of Alexithymia and Fear of Happiness on the Relationship Between Insecure Attachment and Happiness
(2015) Mediating Role of Alexithymia and Fear of Happiness on the Relationship Between Insecure Attachment and Happiness, no. 47.
In recent years, much of psychology has been focused on positive outcomes of human functioning with emphasis on well-being. Investigations into what factors contribute to subjective experience of happiness have identified adult attachment, emotion regulation and problems in emotion processing as significant predictors of levels of happiness. Previous research has established links between insecure adult attachment and problems with emotion regualtion. Specific problems in emotion processing - alexithymia and fear of happiness - were also related to insecure attachment. These concepts have been linked to various psychopathologies and posit serious implications for well-being. The current study aimed to investigate the mediating role of alexithymia and fear of happiness on the relationship between insecure attachment and happiness in a non-clinical sample. Futhermore, predictive values of alexithymia subscales were investigated in relation to happiness. A total of 147 participants completed a series of online questionnaires measuring attachment security (ECR-R), alexithymia (TAS-20), fear of happiness and happiness (OHQ). Alexithymia and fear of happiness were positively correlated as demonstrated in previous studies. Attachment-related anxiety was found to predict both fear of happiness and alexithymia, whereas attachment-related avoidance was a predictor for alexithymia only. Both alexithymia and fear of happiness contributed significantly to the overall happiness score. Attachment-related anxiety and avoidance showed no direct effect on happiness. Mediation analysis revealed a full mediation between insecure attachment and happiness. Based on these findings it can be concluded that alexithymia and fear of happiness posit a full mediating role on the relationship between attachment security and happiness. Implications and limitations of this study are discussed.