By Mario Mikulincer PhD, Phillip R. Shaver PhD

This authoritative paintings offers a scientific, entire assessment of conception and study on grownup attachment. The authors—who were on the vanguard of this swiftly growing to be box because the ideas of "adult attachment" and "attachment kind" have been first developed—trace how Bowlby and Ainsworth's unique constructs have advanced throughout the research of youngsters and adults. They overview extant measures and study how attachment conception has been used to increase medical figuring out of feelings, social cognition, shut relationships, psychopathology, and psychotherapy.

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Extra info for Attachment in Adulthood: Structure, Dynamics, and Change

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A model of attachment-system activation and functioning in adulthood. attachment figure in a particular situation), which initiates “bottom-up” influences on the operation of the attachment system. For example, reminding a person of supportive behavior on the part of a past or present attachment figure can cause even a chronically insecure person to feel momentarily more secure and to behave accordingly. Each component of the model is also affected by a person’s prevailing working models of self and other, which bias appraisals of threats, attachment figure availability, and proximityseeking viability.

This line of theoretical reasoning fits with recent findings from social cognition research showing that accessible ideas, words, and images shape a person’s state of mind before he or she notices or acknowledges them in the stream of consciousness (Wegner & Smart, 1997). It is also congruent with Bargh’s (1990) “auto-motive” model of motivation, according to which a person’s goals can be preconsciously activated and can automatically guide behavior without conscious planning. In infancy and early childhood, most children probably have a limited repertoire of mental representations of attachment figures and a similarly small repertoire of proximity- and comfort-seeking behaviors.

Protest is especially likely in relationships where an attachment figure is sometimes responsive and sometimes not, placing the dependent, attached individual on a partial reinforcement schedule that rewards persistent and energetic proximity-seeking attempts because they sometimes succeed. In such cases, the individual does not easily give up on proximity seeking, and in fact intensifies it so as to demand or force the attachment figure’s attention, love, and support. The main goal of these strategies is to get an attachment figure, viewed as unreliable or insufficiently responsive, to pay more attention and provide better protection and support (Cassidy & Kobak, 1988; Main, 1990).

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Attachment in Adulthood: Structure, Dynamics, and Change by Mario Mikulincer PhD, Phillip R. Shaver PhD
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