Implications of Attachment Styles for Social Adjustment

Insecure attachment in early childhood predicts a variety of undesirable outcomes, including poor peer relationships, difficulties in regulating negative affect, and impulsive, aggressive, and disruptive behavioral patterns. Moreover, maltreatment in childhood has been consistently shown to be a risk factor for the development of insecure attachment styles.

Adolescents and adults with insecure patterns of attachment exhibit higher rates of affective disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders than securely attached peers. Insecure attachment has also been implicated as a risk factor for poor relational quality in marriage and other intimate relationships (Kobak & Hazan, 1991).

REFERENCES

Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978).

Patterns of attachment: Assessed in the strange situation and at home. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: Atest of a four-category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 226-244.

Bowlby, J. (1958). The nature of a child's tie to his mother. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 39, 350-373.

Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. Middlesex, UK: Penguin Books.

Fraley, R. C., & Waller, N. G. (1998). Adult attachment patterns: A test of the typological model. In J. A. Simpson & W. S. Rholes (Eds.), Attachment theory and close relationships (pp. 77-114). New York: Guilford Press.

George, C., Kaplan, N., & Main, M. (1985). The adult attachment interview. Unpublished manuscript, University of California, Berkeley.

Hazan, C., & Shaver, P. R. (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 511-524.

Kobak, R. R., & Hazan, C. (1991). Attachment in marriage: Effects of security and accuracy of working models. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 861-869.

Main, M., & Solomon, J. (1986). Discovery of a new, insecure-disorganized/disoriented attachment pattern. In M. Yogman & T. B. Brazelton (Eds.), Affective development in infancy (pp. 95124). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Gilbert Reyes University of South Dakota

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