Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Debbiesiu Lee

Second Committee Member

Nicholas D. Myers

Third Committee Member

Kent Burnett

Fourth Committee Member

Laura Kohn-Wood

Fifth Committee Member

Toni DiDona


The current study examined the roles of emotional intelligence (attention, clarity, and repair) and coping styles (reactive and suppressive) in the relationship between adult attachment and interpersonal and psychological distress. Participants were 233 undergraduate students from a Southeastern university who completed a battery of self-report questionnaires, including the Outcome Questionnaire-45.2 and the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems. This study utilized latent structural equation modeling in order to explore the well-established link between adult attachment and distress. Results support the notion that both emotional intelligence and coping styles are important variables to include when conceptualizing the relationship between attachment style and psychological and interpersonal distress. Whereas avoidant attachment was found to distinctively relate to emotional intelligence, anxious attachment uniquely related to coping style. Lastly, emotional intelligence and coping styles directly related to psychological and interpersonal distress. Research and clinical implications are discussed.


Attachment; Emotional Intelligence; Coping; Psychological Distress; Interpersonal Distress