Faculty Publications

Associations Between Romantic Relationship Attachment And Health Among Young Adults: The Mediating Role Of Sleep And Emotion Regulation

Document Type



adult attachment, emotion regulation, health, romantic relationships, sleep

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Relationships Research


Close relationships play a crucial role in physical and psychological well-being. However, the mechanisms through which relationship factors may enable individuals to maintain overall health have not been widely explored. The primary objective of this study was to examine the mediating role of emotion regulation and sleep in the link between romantic relationship attachment and health. Additionally, differences in sleep patterns and emotion regulation across romantic relationship attachment styles were explored. The survey inquired about the quality and quantity of sleep, attachment quality, emotion regulatory factors, and overall health. The participants included 172 undergraduate students (17–30 years) at a midwestern U.S. university. Romantic relationship attachment security was associated with better sleep, better emotion regulatory strategies, and health. Sleep and emotion regulatory strategies mediated the association between attachment and sleep patterns in a three-path mediation. Findings show greater disruptions in sleep patterns and emotion regulatory factors across attachment styles (i.e., secure, preoccupied, dismissive, and fearful attachment). The findings have implications for sleep disorder intervention programs that emphasise better emotion regulatory strategies and promote healthy relationship patterns.


Department of Psychology

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version



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