Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Linda Stanhope




attachment style, relationships, touching, behavior


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between adult attachment style and touching behavior, as well as the relationship between sociability and touching behavior, when interacting with both strangers and acquaintances. Previous research on romantic relationships suggests that individuals with avoidant attachment styles tend to avoid touching their romantic partners, whereas individuals with anxious attachment styles over-touch their romantic partners. As well, research on personality traits suggests that individuals who are high in openness and agreeableness, both characteristics of sociable people, tend to participate in touching behavior more. In the current study, 125 participants completed the Experiences in Close Relationships questionnaire to measure attachment to their mothers, the EAS Temperament Survey, and a self-report measure of touching behavior. As hypothesized, people who had more anxious attachment styles were more likely to report touching female strangers. In addition, both males and females who had more avoidant attachment styles were more likely to avoid physical contact with their parents. As predicted, participants who were more sociable were more likely to touch others than less sociable participants. These results will be discussed in terms of attachment theory, and temperament.