Attachment style and adult relationships

Attachment style and adult relationships. Social Psychological research has indicated that there are four primary types of interpersonal attachment that form in infancy/early childhood.

Attachment Style

1. List and define these 4 types of attachment, describing the child and how they behave as a result of the attachment style.

2. Discuss the types of parenting behavior that contribute to each type (you will have to do some outside research for this).

3. Discuss how each of these attachment styles that were formed in childhood impact adult relationships. That is, does each type of attachment style have a different impact on how an adult forms relationships later in their life? If so, please provide a description for each one. (agian, you may have to do some outside reseasrch for this.)

4. Do you agree or disagree that bonding that occurs in the first years of life can have a lasting impact on an adult’s ability to form lasting relationships? Why or why not?

History of Attachment


The roots of attachment theory were first established in the 1930s and 1940s when a num-ber of clinicians observed the negative effects ofmaternal separations early in life. John Bowlbywas one of many who observed this effect; forexample, in 1944 he outlined how poor parentinginfluenced the behavior of a group of juvenilethieves. It was not until 1950, when he wasoffered a short-term contract to work at theWorld Health Organization (WHO), that he hadthe opportunity to organize his and others’work inthe area.

The resulting report from his WHO con-tract, published in 1951, summarized what wasknown to date about the negative effect of poorcaregiving and maternal separation on infants’health and well-being. Bowlby later reported thatseveral reviewers pointed out that an overarchingtheory to explain these observations was missing.In Bowlby’s quest to develop such a theory, hewas greatly influenced by both psychoanalytictheory and ethology.

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