Attachment Styles and Mate-Retention: Exploring the Mediating Role of Relationship Satisfaction

Bruna S. Nascimento, Anthony C. Little, Renan P. Monteiro, Paul H.P. Hanel, Katia C. Vione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated whether relationship satisfaction mediates the association between attachment styles and mate-retention strategies. Four-hundred and twenty individuals in a heterosexual committed relationship participated in this study (79.7% women; Mage = 23.22, SDage = 8.07). Participants completed questionnaires assessing attachment styles, relationship satisfaction, and mate-retention strategies. The results replicated previous findings by showing that insecure attachment is positively associated with benefitprovisioning and cost-inflicting mate-retention strategies and extended previous research by showing that relationship satisfaction mediates these associations. The present findings confirm evolutionary predictions on romantic relationships that relationship satisfaction may serve as a monitor determining how individuals act to preserve their relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362–370
Number of pages9
JournalEvolutionary Behavioral Sciences
Issue number4
Early online date2 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2022

Data Availability Statement

The data and materials used in the research are available upon request. The data and materials can be obtained by emailing Bruna S. Nascimento at


All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the psychology ethics committee of the University of Bath (ethical approval code: 17-218).


  • Attachment styles
  • Mate retention
  • Relationship satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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