Theory -- Horotwitz & Bartholomew Chapter

Length: 15 pages Sources: 15 Subject: Children Type: Chapter Paper: #33183152 Related Topics: Transition Theory, Grieving, Grieving Process, Theories
Excerpt from Chapter :

c. Other theorists (Modern Attachment Theories)

Upon the establishment and strengthening of Bowlby and Ainsworth's Attachment Theory, other theorists have developed new studies which either tested the theory or sought to apply it in different contexts or scenarios. Inevitably, most scenarios and contexts that new theorists and psychology researchers took is the path to explaining grief and bereavement. Others, however, have centered on specific aspects of the theory and sought to expound and/or test it, as Ainsworth did when Bowlby was still in the process of strengthening his attachment theory.

One such study was conducted by Schore and Schore (2008), which explored the emotion regulation aspect of the theory. In their study, the authors realized the potential of attachment theory in developing a "therapeutic intervention" from which coping on the loss of the attachment figure would be a healthier process for the individual. The authors shifted from the issue of attachment to (emotion) regulation, determining that using principles from attachment theory, the therapeutic intervention to effective and healthier coping "can repair damage and create new structure that is more able to cope with the demands of life" (18). Schore and Schore have taken on the challenge that Bowlby presented after discussing attachment theory thoroughly: how knowledge about the theory could improve issues of attachment that children, particularly adolescent children, have to deal and cope with.

Another group of researchers sought to develop an integrative model of attachment, which centered on the "system activation dynamics" of individuals (Mikulnicer et. al., 2003:90). Anchoring on Bowlby and Ainsworth's study on secure and insecure attachments/relationships, the authors identified two kinds of activation systems that are triggered when there is a loss or separation from a loved one and/or attachment figure. The first activation system is called "deactivating," wherein the individual chooses to "distance people from their own emotions," and hence seeks isolation. This coping mechanism results to 'aversion of painful experience, but forgoes the effect of positive affect' that comes from acknowledging the loss or separation from a loved one or significant other. Conversely, "hyperactivating" occurs when the individual engages in different emotional states with different people, which could only delay the acknowledgment and despair that comes with the loss or separation. In the end, the individual would only feel an "exacerbation of the negative affect," which could further the feeling of despair within the individual. Ideally, however, based on the integrative model developed, healthy and secure individuals would be able to transition from co-regulation (with the loved one, significant other, or attachment figure) to self-regulation (94). As with Bowlby, the ultimate end to studying attachment theory is to enable individuals to cope with insecure attachments or loss/separation from the attachment figure, go through the process of transitioning from co-regulation to self-regulation in the healthiest way possible.

Deeper into Bowlby's concepts of attachment, separation anxiety, and attachment figures are the work of theorists Kim Bartholomew and Leonard Horowitz, researchers and theorists who worked together to determine, test, and establish the "two-dimensional four-category model of adult attachment" (Bartholomew and Shaver, 1998:31). In this model, both researchers theorized that adult attachment is anchored on two important models, which are based on one's conception of his/her self and of other people. Ultimately, an adult with healthy attachment would have a positive conception of his/her self and other people. Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991) explained, "the valence of both self models and models of others are separate, important dimensions of an adult orientation to close relationships and that the two dimensions can vary independently" (240). While the models are related to each other in creating the kind of adult attachment one has, the models operate independently from each other, but are critical factors considered together when looking at the 'attachment health' of an adult.

The two dimensions are determined as the model of self and the model of others. The model of self is "associated with the degree of anxiety and dependency on other's approval in close relationships," while the model of others is the "tendency to seek out or avoid closeness in relationships" (Bartholomew and Shaver, 1998:31). The conception created in the...


The model of others, meanwhile, operates when the individual is deciding whether or not to become attached with another individual and to further the level or "closeness" of relationship to the point of making that person as his/her attachment figure.

The level of dependency and closeness that one establishes with an attachment figure could lead to different "schemes," which make up Bartholomew and Horowitz' "4-category classification scheme" of adult attachment: (1) secure, (2) dismissing, (3) fearful, and (4) preoccupied. Each category describes a specific kind of relationship between the adult and his/her attachment figure, determined in terms of the two dimensions (models of the self and of others), and the level of dependency and closeness established between them (i.e., adult and the attachment figure) (Bartholomew and Shaver, 1998:31-2):

Secure- internalized sense of self-worth and are comfortable with intimacy in close relationships;

Preoccupied- anxiously seek to gain acceptance and validation from others, seeming to persist in the belief that they could attain safety, or security, if they could only get others to respond properly toward them;

Fearful- highly dependent on others' acceptance and affirmation; however, because of their negative expectations, they avoid intimacy to avert the pain of loss or rejection; and Dismissing- avoid closeness because of negative expectations; however, they maintain a sense of self-worth by defensively denying the value of close relationships.

Given these categories of adult attachment, Bartholomew and Horowitz attempted to create general model or "representation" of adult attachment. The theorists are somewhat similar to Ainsworth's role in helping Bowlby develop the traditional or classic adult attachment theory. While Ainsworth conducted research studies to strengthen Bowlby's theory and ethology, Bartholomew and Horowitz are modern theorists whose aim is to develop a more developed, evidence-based, and updated general theory and model of adult attachment. Hence, they based their 2-dimension, 4-category model of adult attachment on Bowlby's ethology and supported the model's basic assumptions through quantitative research studies proving that indeed, there are different kinds of adult attachment.

III. Grief, Attachment Style, and Attachment Theory

In the previous chapter, the concept of secure attachment, separation anxiety, and emotion regulation after a loss or separation from a loved one, significant other or attachment figure are discussed in the context of Bowlby and Ainsworth's attachment theory. In this chapter, attachment theory will be expanded to include another concept that specifically deals with the issue of grieving and bereavement: Continuing Bonds. The theory of continuing bonds is an extension of attachment per se, as it posits that in the event that a person loses or gets separated from a loved one or attachment figure, the kind of relationship s/he had with the attachment figure determines the behavior that s/he would adopt and be manifested as the 'continuing bond' between these people.

Continuing bonds for Bowlby (although he did not used the term per se) starts with the "pain of grief," a concept that is only determined at the beginning of the bereavement process. Bowlby specifically identifies grief and mourning into four phases: numbness, yearning and protest, disorganization and despair, and lastly, reorganization (Packman et. al., 2006:821). As an individual goes through these phases, the individual will also experience a "persistence of the relationship" that s/he previously had with the lost/separated attachment figure. This is, in Bowlby's terms, the 'continuing bonds' that continues to bind the individual to the other person, either in a positive/healthy or negative/unhealthy way (Bonanno and Kalman, 1999:764).

Klass, Silverman and Nickman, proponents of the Continuing Bonds theory, helped evolve Bowlby's concept of "persistent relationship." For them, continuing bonds function in the individual as a "reorganization" sub-process that they must be able to acknowledge and cope with. Ultimately, the authors consider continuing bonds as a facilitative component wherein people will be able to find "solace, comfort and support" in these bonds, 'easing the transition from the past to the future' (765).

Interestingly, grief and bereavement studies applying the continuing bonds theory have shown the same psychopathological perspective that Bowlby had adopted in establishing the attachment theory. In these studies, continuing bonds was indeed a facilitative component, a functional process that individuals must utilize to survive the ordeal they are going through. Without the continuing bonds -- that is, the idea that the memory of the individual lives on in spirit -- people would not have anything to hold on to in their lives after a loss or separation of a loved one/attachment figure, and therefore coping would not be as manageable as it would have been with the continuing bonds (Davies, 2004:509-510).

Similarly, Bartholomew and Horowitz' study of the different categories of adult attachment provide support evidence on the different kinds…

Sources Used in Documents:


Ainsworth, M. (1984). "Attachment across the life span." Bulletin of New York Academy of Medicine.

Ainsworth, M. And J. Bowlby. (1991). "An ethological approach to personality development." American Psychologist, Vol. 46, No. 4.

Bartholomew, K. And L. Horowitz. (1991). "Attachment styles among young adults: a test of a four-category model." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 61, No. 2.

Bartholomew, K. And P. Shaver. (1998). In Attachment theory and close relationships. J. Simpson and W. Rholes (Eds.). NY: Guilford Press.

Cite this Document:

"Theory -- Horotwitz & Bartholomew" (2012, June 04) Retrieved April 17, 2021, from

"Theory -- Horotwitz & Bartholomew" 04 June 2012. Web.17 April. 2021. <>

"Theory -- Horotwitz & Bartholomew", 04 June 2012, Accessed.17 April. 2021,

Related Documents
Theories Comparing Ainsworth's Attachment Theory
Words: 1190 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 19265493

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

Theory How the Attachment Theory Accounts for
Words: 2176 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Sociology Paper #: 83501642

Theory How the attachment theory accounts for differences in the development of social relationships in aging adults? The attachment theory is one of the common theories in the specification of child development and growth in the world. Indeed, several influencing factors are concerned with the generation and establishment of the relationship that exists between parents and their children in the society. According to psychological understandings and studies in the world, there

Attachment Theory and Child Psychology
Words: 1565 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Psychology - Child Paper #: 41578498

Attachment theory is central to child development, and has been shown to be “biologically-based,” (Gross, Stern, Brett, et al, 2015, p. 2). Children can develop secure, insecure, or disorganized styles of attachment, based largely on parental responses to their emotional needs in times of stress or a perceived threat. Attachment theory shows that attachment is relational, in that attachment style is based on individual responses to stress but also on

Object Relation, Attachment Theories, And
Words: 26278 Length: 90 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 34405449

S., experts estimate the genuine number of incidents of abuse and neglect ranges three times higher than reported. (National Child Abuse Statistics, 2006) in light of these critical contemporary concerns for youth, this researcher chose to document the application of Object Relation, Attachment Theories, and Self-Psychology to clinical practice, specifically focusing on a patient who experienced abuse when a child. Consequently, this researcher contends this clinical case study dissertation proves

Children, Grief, and Attachment Theory
Words: 22384 Length: 75 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 77393541

Figure 1 portrays three of the scenes 20/20 presented March 15, 2010. Figure 1: Heather, Rachel, and Unnamed Girl in 20/20 Program (adapted from Stossel, 2010). Statement of the Problem For any individual, the death of a family member, friend, parent or sibling may often be overwhelming. For adolescents, the death of person close to them may prove much more traumatic as it can disrupt adolescent development. Diana Mahoney (2008), with the

Therapeutic Alliance, Attachment Theory and
Words: 8108 Length: 30 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 12411999

An important point emphasized by many theorists was that it was essential for the therapeutic alliance to be flexible in order to accommodate the patient or client's perceptions. Another cardinal aspect that was emphasizes by clinicians and theorists was that the therapeutic alliance had the ability to create and promote change in the client. In other words, the therapeutic alliance should be varied enough to deal with the various levels