The Relationship Between Attachment Styles, Environmental Empathy, and Anxiety Sensitivity
The purpose of this study was to understand if relationships and emotional distress were predictive factors in one’s disposition towards environmental causes. Multiple studies have compared attachment styles and empathy, which have collectively supported that secure attachments increase reported feelings of empathy (Kim and Kochanska, 2017; Mikulincer et al., 2001; Mikulincer et al. 2005). However, there has not been any research published on the relationship between attachment styles and environmental empathy (Gardner 1989). Previous research has also suggested there is a connection between insecure attachment styles and a higher risk of anxiety disorders, but there is little research about attachment styles and anxiety sensitivity specifically (Eng et al. 200l; Marganska et al. 2013). To study the relationship between attachment styles, anxiety sensitivity, and environmental empathy, 28 participants were asked to fill out three surveys in this order: the Anxiety Sensitivity Index- ASI-3, the Revised Adult Attachment Scale-Close Relationships Version, and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence quiz. Anxiety sensitivity was significantly correlated with the insecure-anxiety attachment style, but anxiety sensitivity was not significantly correlated with the insecure-close and insecure-depend attachment styles. The physical, cognitive, and social subcategories of the anxiety sensitivity inventory were significantly correlated to the total attachment scale. There was no significant correlation between environmental empathy and either anxiety sensitivity or attachment style. These results expand upon previous research done that suggested there was a relationship between attachment styles and anxiety disorders by providing evidence for a relationship between anxiety sensitivity and attachment style specifically (Eng et al. 200l; Marganska et al. 2013). Further research should be conducted to determine whether or not environmental empathy is significantly correlated with anxiety sensitivity or attachment style.