Attachment orientations and adult crying

Michal Drenger, Mario Mikulincer, Ety Berant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The current research aimed at increasing existing knowledge about crying in adulthood. In 2 studies, we examined the contribution of individual differences in attachment orientation to the behavior andexperience of adult crying. First, we examined links between attachment dimensions and different aspects of crying behavior. Second, we explored adult's subjective experience of crying, which was assessed with the Crying Experience Scale (CES), constructed especially for this study, and examined associations between this experience and attachment dimensions. Findings revealed a relationship between attachment style and the way one uses crying and experiences it. Specifically, findings indicated that attachment anxiety was associated with an exaggerated and emotionally ambivalent crying experience, whereas attachment avoidance was associated with a more restricted and negative experience of crying. Results are discussed regarding the value of attachment theory for the study of crying, focusing on developmental and interpersonal dynamics of the crying experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalPsychoanalytic Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Psychological Association.


  • Adult crying
  • Attachment
  • Crying experience


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