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Attachment Theory

Page history last edited by Debra Lee 14 years, 10 months ago

Attachment Theory of Social Relationships Definition




The strong bond of affection between the primary caregiver and an infant. Attachment behaviors (the outward signs of affection) are considered distinct from the "invisible, underlying bond" (Bjorklund and Bee, 2008, p. 166).


Three key elements of attachment (Bjorklund and Bee, 2008 citing Weiss, 1982)

  1. seeing the attachment figure as security
  2. seeking the attachment figure when scared or stressed
  3. trying to avoid separation from the attachment figure


Major Theorists

John Bowlby (1969)

Mary Ainsworth (1978)

R. S. Weiss (1982)


Citations to Major Works

  • Ainsworth, M.D.S., Blehar, M., Waters, E., et al. (1978). Patterns of attachment. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss Vol. 3, Attachment. New York: Basic Books
  • Weiss, R. S. (1982). Attachment in adult life. In C.M. Parkes & J. Stevenson-Hinde (Eds.), The place of attachment in human behavior (pp. 171-184). New York: Basic Books


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