Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Rethinking Attachment Theory

Rethinking Attachment Theory Bowlby’s attachment theory has stimulated research covering a variety of topics related to individual and relational well-being, such as courtship, mate selection, motivations, emotional responses, cognitions, dreams, values, and psychopathology. This research has contributed greatly to the understanding of individual differences in mental health but at the same time has gradually lost touch with the original evolutionary essence of attachment theory. In this article, we revisit Bowlby’s original conceptualization and argue that although attachment styles relate to many different aspects of people’s lives, their primary function is to promote survival. Accordingly, we present social-defense theory and illustrate how different attachment orientations work in synergy to promote group survival, such that a social group comprising members with different attachment patterns has clear adaptive advantages over a homogeneous group of securely attached individuals. We therefore challenge the axiomatic view of insecure attachment as a psychological liability, contending that each attachment disposition has specific adaptive advantages. In making this argument, we extend the scope of attachment theory and research by considering a broader range of adaptive functions of insecure attachment strategies, and present data to support our argument. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Current Directions in Psychological Science SAGE

Loading next page...
 
/lp/sage/rethinking-attachment-theory-sg4rclpKO0
Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2016
ISSN
0963-7214
eISSN
1467-8721
DOI
10.1177/0963721416650684
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Bowlby’s attachment theory has stimulated research covering a variety of topics related to individual and relational well-being, such as courtship, mate selection, motivations, emotional responses, cognitions, dreams, values, and psychopathology. This research has contributed greatly to the understanding of individual differences in mental health but at the same time has gradually lost touch with the original evolutionary essence of attachment theory. In this article, we revisit Bowlby’s original conceptualization and argue that although attachment styles relate to many different aspects of people’s lives, their primary function is to promote survival. Accordingly, we present social-defense theory and illustrate how different attachment orientations work in synergy to promote group survival, such that a social group comprising members with different attachment patterns has clear adaptive advantages over a homogeneous group of securely attached individuals. We therefore challenge the axiomatic view of insecure attachment as a psychological liability, contending that each attachment disposition has specific adaptive advantages. In making this argument, we extend the scope of attachment theory and research by considering a broader range of adaptive functions of insecure attachment strategies, and present data to support our argument.

Journal

Current Directions in Psychological ScienceSAGE

Published: Aug 1, 2016

There are no references for this article.