Theory the Objective of This Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

I often worry that my partner doesn't really love me or won't want to stay with me. I want to get very close to my partner, and this sometimes scares people away. (Fraley, 2004)

Fraley relates that it was found in the study of Hazan and Shaver "...based on this three-category measure...that the distribution of categories was similar to that observed in infancy. In other words, about 60% of adults classified themselves as secure; about 20% described themselves as avoidant; and about 20% described themselves as anxious-resistant." (2004) While measurement in this manner was "a useful way to study the association between attachment styles and relationship functioning, it didn't allow a full test of the hypothesis in the same kinds of individual differences observed in infants might be manifest among adults." (Fraley, 2004) Fraley states that the findings of Brennan "suggested that there are two fundamental dimensions with respect to adult attachment patterns" with the first "critical variable" being one labeled 'attachment-related anxiety." (Fraley, 2004) Individuals who score high on this specific variable have worries relating to whether their partner is "available, responsive, attentive, etc." (Fraley, 2004) Individuals scoring low on this variable are stated by Fraley to be "more secure in the perceived responsiveness of their partners." (2004) the third "critical variable is called attachment-related avoidance." (Fraley, 2004) Individuals who score high on this variable are independent and do not tend to depend on others or easily open themselves up to others. Individuals scoring on the low end of this dimension have less discomfort with intimacy and as well are "more secure depending upon and having others depend upon them." (Fraley, 2004) According to Brennan's research "a prototypical secure adult is low on both of these dimensions." (Fraley, 2004) Romantic relationships are held by Fraley and others to operate in a very similar manner to infant-parent relationships. Some of the parallels noted in the work of Fraley between "the way that infant-caregiver relationships and adult romantic relationships function include those as follows: (1) partner selection; (2) secure base and safe haven behavior; and (3) avoidant attachment and defense mechanisms. (Fraley, 2004)


This work has examined attachment theory and as well has examined the three period of the development of the ideology of this theory. The work of Bowlby in 1953, which was a popular book and which was published in the last of the three periods during 1950 until the present states: "Mother love is as important for mental health as are vitamins and proteins for physical health." (as cited in Levine, 2002) the view of Levine in relation to attachment theory is that the "basic differentiating concepts of attachment research - secure vs. insecure attachment and sensitivity to infant signals - involve moral judgments, not medical ones, and are grounded in Anglo-American cultural ideology of the 20th century, not human biology." (2002) Levine believes that categorical mental health and pathological risk has been created by the Bowlby-Ainsworth attachment perspective of what constitutes "normal individual differences in behavior, and it perpetuates the blaming of mothers characteristic of mid-20th century pop psychology.' (2002) Levine states surprise that leaders in mental health have not attempted divestment of this ideology from their repertoire. Levine describes attachment theory as representative of an ideology "inherited from the intergenerational tensions of 50 years ago. " (2002) it is the opinion of Levine that until this professional has divested itself of this ideology that attachment research will "remain prescriptive rather than descriptive, retaining the flavor of an ideological movement to reform the care of children rather than seeking to deepen our understanding of their development." (Levine, 2002)


Borelli, Jessica L.; and David, Daryn H. (2003-2004) Imagination, Cognition and Personality. Volume 23, Number 4 / 2003-2004. Attachment Theory and Research as a Guide to Psychotherapy Practice. Yale University. Online Baywood Publishing Company, Inc. Amityville, NY. Online available at,2,6;journal,14,102;linkingpublicationresults,1:300311,1

Tuovila, Pirjo (2007)What Are Fathers for? Attachment Theory and the Significance of Fathers. European Centennial Conference to Celebrate the Birth of Dr. John Bowlby, the Founder of Attachment Theory. Tampere…

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