On Attachment: The View from Developmental Psychology

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Their actions and responses to caregivers are often a mix of behaviors, including avoidance or resistance. These children are described as displaying dazed behavior, sometimes seeming either confused or apprehensive in the presence of a caregiver.

Animal Studies of Attachment: Lorenz and Harlow

Main and Solomon proposed that inconsistent behavior on the part of parents might be a contributing factor in this style of attachment. Because the child feels both comforted and frightened by the parent, confusion results. By better understanding the role of attachment, you can gain a greater appreciation of how the earliest attachments in your life may impact adult relationships.

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Have you ever wondered what your personality type means? Sign up to get these answers, and more, delivered straight to your inbox. Fuertes J N, R. Contributions of attachment theory and research: a framework for future research, translation, and policy. Dev Psychopathol. Duschinsky R. Hist Psychol. Kelly A. Front Psychol. Hazan C, Shaver P. Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. J Pers Soc Psychol. Cassidy J, Berlin LJ. Child Dev.

Secure Attachment and Other Attachment Styles

Adult attachment, stress, and romantic relationships. Curr Opin Psychol. Disorganized attachment and defense: exploring John Bowlby's unpublished reflections. Attach Hum Dev. More in Theories. Bowlby believed that there are four distinguishing characteristics of attachment:. Proximity Maintenance - The desire to be near the people we are attached to.

Safe Haven - Returning to the attachment figure for comfort and safety in the face of a fear or threat. Secure Base - The attachment figure acts as a base of security from which the child can explore the surrounding environment. Separation Distress - Anxiety that occurs in the absence of the attachment figure. Bowlby also made three key propositions about attachment theory. Ainsworth's Strange Situation Assessment followed this basic sequence:. Parent and child are alone in a room The child explores the room with parental supervision A stranger enters the room, talks to the parent, and approaches the child The parent quietly leaves the room The parent returns and comforts the child.

As Children Are able to separate from parent Seek comfort from parents when frightened Greets return of parents with positive emotions Prefers parents to strangers. As Adults Have trusting, lasting relationships Tend to have good self-esteem Are comfortable sharing feelings with partners and friends Seek out social support. As Children May be wary of strangers Become greatly distressed when parents leave Do not appear comforted when parents return.

As Adults Reluctant to become close to others Worry that their partner does not love them Become very distraught when relationships end. Thus, it is not surprising that the influence of attachment theory spans several disciplines of psychology, including developmental psychology, clinical psychology, social-personality psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. The aim of this overview is to provide an account of attachment theory and research in developmental psychology. Specifically, this overview will first lay the theoretical and methodological groundwork, covering the topics of the history and inception of attachment theory, the origins of individual differences in infant attachment, and the measures used in developmental psychology for assessing individual differences in attachment in childhood and adulthood.

An understanding of the significance of attachment for close interpersonal relationships across the lifespan must first begin with knowledge of attachment theory. For a thorough understanding of attachment theory, a must-read is the attachment trilogy Bowlby , Bowlby , and Bowlby , in which John Bowlby lays out his theory of attachment.


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In the latter two volumes, Bowlby and Bowlby provide a theoretical account of the negative interpersonal and mental health implications that disruptions in attachment relationships, such as separations from or loss of attachment figures, might have on the developing child. Most research on attachment concerns the antecedents and sequelae of individual differences in the quality of attachment relationships. Thus, another important primary source is Ainsworth, et al. Cassidy and Shaver is the most comprehensive source on attachment research.


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The handbook is divided into chapters that span developmental periods from infancy to adulthood and are written by leading scholars in the specific subfield of attachment research. The chapters serve to orient the reader to the major questions guiding work in the specific area of attachment research and provide a review of the research conducted to date. The chapter Belsky and Cassidy provides an approachable overview of attachment theory and research for graduate and undergraduate students who are new to attachment theory and research. Roisman and Groh is another chapter targeted at the level of graduate and undergraduate students that provides an overview of attachment theory, appreciative critique of research conducted to date, and suggestions for future research.

Attachment and Human Development is a journal that provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of attachment theory and research. Ainsworth, M. Blehar, E. Waters, and S.

Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. New York: Psychology Press. The first edition of this book was released in and is no longer in circulation. This second edition of the book includes a new preface and new appendices.

Developmental Psychology- UNIT 1 - Theories of attachment

This source is best suited for graduate students who are primarily interested in attachment and parenting research. Attachment and Human Development. This journal is the leading forum for the presentation of empirical research, reviews, and clinical case studies that reflect contemporary advances in attachment theory and research. Belsky, J. Attachment theory and evidence. In Development through life. Attachment allows an infant to separate from the caregiver without distress and begin to explore the world around her.

Neuroscientists believe that attachment is such a primal need that there are networks of neurons in the brain dedicated to setting it in motion and a hormone β€” oxytocin β€”to foster the process. There seems to be some association between attachment characteristics early in life and those in adulthood, but the correlation is far from perfect. Self-Esteem , Anxiety , Child Development. By Guy Winch Ph. If you and your partner go to bed at different times, you should probably consider these 10 questions. By Hal Shorey Ph. Sometimes, the best way to have a new experience is to do the opposite of what you would normally do.

By Elaine N. Aron Ph. For people going through cancer, sex can be a powerful affirmation of aliveness β€” many patients say it is one of the most important markers for their quality of life. By Kathy McCoy Ph. Do you really need a new app to remind you to be kind and thoughtful to those you love most? Here are five ways to enhance your relationships right now -- on your own! By Mariana Bockarova Ph. Is there hope for people who attach in a disorganized way?

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The Importance of Early Emotional Bonds

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