Attachment Style, Friendship Quality and the Mediating Effect of Communication Skills in Young Adults Friendship


  • Ai Shin LIM James Cook University, Singapore King's College London, UK



Friendship Quality, Attachment Styles, Communication Skills, Young Adults Friendship


Liberman and colleagues (1999) argue for the importance of investigating attachment relationships among peers, as they play a crucial role for individuals from adolescence into adulthood. Markiewicz, Doyle, and Brendgen (2001) demonstrated the important link between attachment style and friendship quality, noting that secure attachment predicted perceptions of friendship quality. This study looked specifically at the associations between attachment, communication and  the quality of relationship shared between friends using four different questionnaires; Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ) by Feeney, Noller & Hanrahan, (1994), Bartholomew and Horowitz’s (1991) Relationship Questionnaire, Communication Functions Questionnaire (CFQ) by Burleson & Samter (1990), and the Network of Relationship Inventory- revised  by Furman & Buhremester, (1992).

Author Biography

Ai Shin LIM, James Cook University, Singapore King's College London, UK



Bartholomew, K. (1990). Avoidance of intimacy: An attachment perspective. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 7, 147-178. DOI:

Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991) Attachment styles among young adults: A test of a four category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 226-244. DOI:

Bauminger, N., Finzi-Dottan, R., Chason, S., & Har-Even, D. (2008). Intimacy in adolescent friendship: The roles of attachment, coherence, and self-disclosure. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 25(3), 409-428. DOI:

Berndt, T.J. (1996). Exploring the effects of friendship quality on social development.

In W.M. Bukowski, A.F. Newcomb, & W.W. Hartup (Eds.), The company they keep: Friendship in childhood and adolescence (pp. 346-365). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss, Volume 2: Separation. New York: Basic Books.

Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss, Volume 3: Loss, sadness and depression. New York: Basic Books.

Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss: Retrospect and prospect. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 52, 664-678. DOI:

Bretherton, I. (1990). Communication patterns, internal working models, and the intergenerational transmission of attachment relationships. Infant Mental Health Journal, 11(3), 237-252. DOI:<237::AID-IMHJ2280110306>3.0.CO;2-X

Burleson, B. R., & Samter, W. (1990). Effects of cognitive complexity on the perceived importance of communication skills in friends. Communication Research, 17, 165-182. DOI:

Collins, N. L., & Read, S. J. (1990). Adult attachment, working models, and Relationship quality in dating couples, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 644-663. DOI:

Crawford, M. (1977). What is a friend? New Sociology, 20, 116-117.

Feeney, J. A., Noller, P., & Hanrahan, M. (1994). Assessing adult attachment. In M. B. Sperling & W.H. Berman (Eds.), Attachment in adults: Clinical & developmental perspectives, (pp. 128-152). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Fehr, B. (1996). Friendship processes. Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage. DOI:

Furman, W., & Buhremester, D. (1992). Age and sex differences in perceptions of network of personal relationships. Child Development, 63, 103-115. DOI:

Grabill, C. M., & Kerns, K. A. (2000). Attachment style and intimacy in friendship. Personal Relationships,7(4), 363-378. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2000.tb00022.x DOI:

Kerns, K. A. (1994). A developmental model of the relations between mother–child attachment and friendship. In R. Erber & R. Gilmour (Eds.), Theoretical frameworks for personal relationships (pp.129–156). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Kerns, K.A., & Stevens. A.C. (1996). Parent-child attachment in late adolescence: Links to social relations and personality. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 25(3), 323-342. DOI:

Kobak, R. R., & Hazan, C. (1991). Attachment in marriage: Effects of security and accuracy of working models. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 861-869. DOI:

Liberman, M., Doyle, A., & Markiewicz, D. (1999). Developmental patterns in security of attachment to mother and father in late childhood and early adolescence: Association with peer relations. Child Development, 70(1), 202-213. DOI:

Markiewicz, D., Doyle, A. B., & Brendgen, M. (2001). The quality of adolescents’ friendships: Association with mother’s interpersonal relationships, attachments to parents and friends and prosocial behaviours. Journal of Adolescence, 24, 429-445. DOI:

Park, K. A., & Waters, E. (1989). Security of attachment and preschool friendships. Child Development, 60, 1076-1081. DOI:

Pavot, W., Diener, E., Colvin, C. R. & Sandvik, E. (1991). Further validation of the Satisfaction with Life scale: Evidence for the cross method convergence of wellbeing measures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 57, 149-61. DOI:

Pistole, M. C. (1993). Attachment relationships: Self-disclosure and trust. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 15, 94-106.

Ravitz, P., Mauder, R., Hunter, J., Sthankiya, B. & Lancee, W. (2009). Adult attachment measures: A 25-year review. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 69, 419-432. doi: 10.1016/jpsychores.2009.08.006 DOI:

Reis, H. T., & Shaver, P. (1988). Intimacy as an interpersonal process. In. S. W. Duck (Ed.), Handbook of personal relationships (pp. 367-389). Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Samter, W. & Burleson, B. R. (2005). The role of communication in same-sex friendships: A comparison among African Americans, Asian Americans, and European Americans. Communication Quaterly, 53(3), 265-283. doi: 10.1080/01463370500100982 DOI:

Welch, R. D., & Houser, M. E. (2010). Extending the four-category model of adult attachment: An interpersonal model of friendship attachment. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships,7(3), 351-366. DOI:




How to Cite

LIM, A. S. (2021). Attachment Style, Friendship Quality and the Mediating Effect of Communication Skills in Young Adults Friendship. Journal of Psychology and Instruction, 5(1), 33–42.