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

The Open Psychology Journal 07 Mar 2024 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118743501280389240212104530



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.
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