Theories Comparing Ainsworth's Attachment Theory Term Paper

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Anxious / ambivalent adults often worry that their partner doesn't really love them or won't want to stay with them. Anxious / ambivalent adults want to merge completely with another person, and this desire sometimes scares people away." (Hazen 1987-page 512).

In 1990 another researcher also developed models that portrayed the attachment theories. These models were based on studies conducted to discover how we coped as adults and were based on whether we were secure or avoidant personalities (see figure 1)

These attachment theories and models are primarily based on how we as individuals are treated, and how we attach ourselves to others as infants and throughout our respective childhoods.

In 1969 Travis Hirschi presented four social bonds which promote socialization and conformity. These include attachment, commitment, involvement and belief." (Hirschi's Social Theory). Hirschi said that the attachment process was only part of the development we as humans go through. He claimed that each of the four bonds were of equal importance. He also claimed that it was social controls, not moral values that maintain law and order. "Without controls, he argues, one is free to commit criminal acts." (Hirschi's).

Hirschi's attachment dealt not only with individuals when they were infants, throughout childhood and the relationships with parents, but also dealt with our ties to others, and the strength of those ties, our sensitivity to others and our interest in other's welfare. Hirschi says that this attachment takes three primary forms; a) our attachment to our parents b) our relationship(s) in school and c) our relationship(s) and attachments with our peers. He also said that there were three other factors of equal importance including our commitment in terms of time and energy assists us
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in developing stakes of conformity (ie; we conform because we have committed so much that if we did not conform we would be in danger of losing it all). The third variable would be the involvement we have in conforming activities such as our activities in school, recreation activities and the time and activities we spend with our families. The fourth variable espoused by Hirschi is our belief system and how strongly we hold those beliefs. He states that if we have a respect for law and authority we would be more apt to avoid social misbehavior.

Even though both theories are commendable, and both generate much controversy and discussion, as stated in the opening paragraph it is a lot like discussing apples and doughnuts. The theories are in some aspects compatible and in some aspects are miles apart. Taking the best from both worlds would more than likely lead to growth in each area and a more complete understanding of where we are and how we got here.

Works Cited

Alston, RJ., Harley, D., Lenhoff, K., (1995) Hirschi's Social Control Theory: A Sociological Perspective on Drug Abuse Among Persons with Disabilities, Journal of Rehabilitation, retrieved from Look Smart database July 26, 2006

Attachment Theory. Retrieved July 26, 2006 at http://www.personalityresearch.org/attachment.html

Bartholomew, K. (1990). Avoidance of intimacy: An Attachment Perspective. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 7, 147-178.

Hazan, C., & Shaver, P. (1987). Romantic Love Conceptualized as an Attachment Process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 52, pp. 511-524.

Lamb, ME., Thompson, RA., Gardner, WP., Charnov, EL., & Estes, D. (1984). Security of Infantile Attachment is Assessed in the 'Strange Situation': Its Study and Biological Interpretation. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol 7, pp 127-171

Social Control Theories, http://www.indiana.edu/~theory/Kip/Control.htm, Accessed July 26, 2006

Travis Hirschi's Social Bond Theory, http://home.comcast.net/~ddemelo/crime/hirschi.html, Accessed July…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Alston, RJ., Harley, D., Lenhoff, K., (1995) Hirschi's Social Control Theory: A Sociological Perspective on Drug Abuse Among Persons with Disabilities, Journal of Rehabilitation, retrieved from Look Smart database July 26, 2006

Attachment Theory. Retrieved July 26, 2006 at http://www.personalityresearch.org/attachment.html

Bartholomew, K. (1990). Avoidance of intimacy: An Attachment Perspective. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 7, 147-178.

Hazan, C., & Shaver, P. (1987). Romantic Love Conceptualized as an Attachment Process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 52, pp. 511-524.

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