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Contextos Clínicos

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MURTA, Sheila Giardini et al. Intimacy and attachment in dating relationships: implications from case studies for violence prevention. Contextos Clínic [online]. 2019, vol.12, n.1, pp. 204-225. ISSN 1983-3482.

Experiences of secure attachment in childhood can impact life intimacy seeking behaviors, consisting of one of the protective factors for the quality of love relationships. This study, based on attachment theory, aimed to examine intimacy experiences in dating relationships. A multiple cases study was conducted with semi-structured interviews with three young people, two women and one man, aged between 16 and 23 years old. The results point to singularities in the intimacy experience, with high levels of intimacy associated with the exchange of social support between the partners and sensitivity to the needs of the other, and levels of threatened intimacy associated with the avoidance of seeking support from the partner and negative resolution strategies of conflicts. Results corroborate the attachment theory, according to which availability and accessibility of the partner are the central way to promote emotional closeness in love relationships. We concluded that preventive actions should address the receptivity and accessibility to the partner, help seeking and help giving skills, emotional regulation skills in conflict management and the utilization of internal, partner's and contextual resources to attribute new meaning to parental emotional legacy that sustains avoidance and anxiety in intimate relations.

Keywords : Attachment; intimate partner violence; interpersonal relationship; intimacy; marital quality.

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