RESEARCH ARTICLE


The Relationship between Attachment Styles, Maladaptive Caregiving Strategies, and Public Prosocial Tendencies toward the LGBTQIA+ Community: A Cross-sectional Study among Slovak Adults



Daniel Lenghart1, *
iD
, Michal Čerešník1
iD

1 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Palacký University, Křížkovského 10, Olomouc 779 00, Czech Republic


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Creative Commons License
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Palacký University, Křížkovského 10, Olomouc 779 00, Czech Republic; E-mail: daniel.lenghart@upol.cz


Abstract

Background

Attachment and caregiving are two mutually interrelated systems. Attachment is reflected in the behaviour and attitude towards the self and others. Caregiving behaviour focuses on relieving distress and promoting the well-being of others. The question is how these two systems contribute to prosocial tendencies towards minority groups. The primary aim of this research was to explore the relationship and the predictive potential of attachment styles and maladaptive caregiving strategies (hyperactivation and deactivation) in relation to public prosocial tendencies towards sexual and gender minorities in a population of Slovak adults.

Objective

This study aimed to analyze the relationship between attachment styles, maladaptive caregiving strategies, and selected public prosocial tendencies toward the LGBTQIA+ community in the Slovak population.

Methods

The participants were 1,000 Slovak adults with a mean age of 26.58 years (SD = 7.035), taking part in the study via an online questionnaire battery. Respondents completed a questionnaire mapping their attachment style (Lenghart and Čerešník, 2022a), which is used to determine the attachment style (secure, avoidant, anxious, and disorganized). The second method was a scale of the caregiving system (Lenghart and Čerešník, 2022b), based on the original version of The Caregiving System Scale (Shaver et al., 2010). The scale maps two basic types of maladaptive caregiving strategies, hyperactivation and deactivation.

Results

The results have demonstrated secure attachment style to be positively correlated with all prosocial tendencies, and negatively correlated with insecure attachment styles and maladaptive caregiving strategies. Insecure attachment styles positively correlated with maladaptive strategies, and negatively correlated with only some prosocial tendencies. Regression analyses showed that the secure attachment style predicted all of the observed prosocial tendencies, the avoidant attachment style negatively predicted two of the six tendencies, the anxious attachment style positively predicted two of the six tendencies, and the disorganised attachment style did not predict any of the prosocial tendencies. The maladaptive hyperactivation strategy positively predicted four of the six tendencies, and the maladaptive deactivation strategy, in contrast, negatively predicted all six prosocial tendencies.

Conclusion

Based on the results of the study, it can be stated that attachment, or attachment style and maladaptive caregiving strategies have a strong and significant impact on public prosocial tendencies towards the LGBTQIA+ community in the Slovak population.

Keywords: Attachment styles, LGBTQIA, Prosociality, Maladaptive caregiving strategies, Slovak adult population, Public prosocial tendencies.