Perceptions of attachment style and marital quality in midlife marriage

Cody S. Hollist, Richard B. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Based on attachment theory, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) theorizes that attachment styles influence marital quality. Although research supports this relationship among young couples, no research has examined attachment styles and marital quality in midlife marriages. We examined this issue using data from 429 married people between the ages of 40 and 50. Results indicated that insecure attachment styles were associated with marital quality, whereas secure attachment was not. These results suggest that EFT therapists can help midlife couples in distressed relationships move from insecure to secure attachment styles. However, the use of EFT to help these couples who have secure attachment styles is questioned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-57
Number of pages12
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Attachment theory
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy
  • Marriage
  • Midlife couples

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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