Two studies with college students tested the hypothesis that a secure attachment style enhances intimacy in friendship. Three intimacy characteristics were studied: self-disclosure; responsiveness to a partner's disclosure; and feeling understood, validated, and cared for by a partner during conversations. In Study 1, individuals with a secure attachment style were higher on all three intimacy characteristics. In Study 2, a lab-based assessment of intimacy revealed some relations between attachment and intimacy, providing mixed support for the hypothesis. Both studies found gender differences in intimacy characteristics. The findings provide a starting point for a model accounting for individual differences in friendship.
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|Published - Dec 2000