The effects of psychological mindedness upon the relationship between personality and attachment style: A structural equation model

Mark Beitel, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to examine the interrelations between psychological mindedness, personality style and interpersonal attachment style. This research investigated the extent to which individuals differ in the degree of congruence with which they describe their personality style and their interpersonal attachment style. Prior research has indicated that personality and attachment styles are moderately, positively correlated. On account of its status as a motivational construct with internal and external dimensions, psychological mindedness is hypothesized to exert some influence, either moderational or mediational, upon the relationship between these styles. In terms of moderation, the psychologically-minded person may be more likely to appreciate the repetitions and structural continuities that mark both his/her empirical personality and his/her interpersonal behavior. In mediational terms, it might be that the possession of psychological mindedness causes personal and interpersonal styles to cohere. The data set consisted of responses from 187 undergraduate subject-pool participants at an urban university. Of these, 135 were women and 52 were men. Psychological mindedness was measured with the Psychological Mindedness Scale and the PY Scale of the California Personality Inventory. The NEO Five-Factor Inventory was used to measure personality. Attachment to parents and peers was measured with the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, while attachment to romantic partners was measured with the Adult Attachment Questionnaire. This study provided evidence for the moderating effect of psychological mindedness. The evidence of this study suggests that one's level of psychological mindedness is predictive of the ability to describe one's personality and “inter-personality” or attachment style in highly correlated terms. In contrast, psychological mindedness did not emerge as a mediator of personality and attachment style. Neither univariate nor multivariate strategies revealed mediating effects. Clinical and research implications of the findings are discussed, as are the limitations of the study. Suggestions for future research are discussed as well.

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Recommended Citation

Beitel, Mark, "The effects of psychological mindedness upon the relationship between personality and attachment style: A structural equation model" (2003). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3098125.