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Attachment Style

 

Explanations > Theories > Attachment Style

Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

People attach themselves to others in different ways, possibly based on very early parental relationships. These include:

  • Secure Attachment Style: Trusting, without concerns for abandonment, feeling self-worth and being liked.
  • Avoidant Attachment Style: Suppression of needs due to repeated rejection. Difficulty in forming intimate relationships.
  • Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment Style: Worry that others will not reciprocate intimacy. Caused by inconsistent experiences.

Perhaps unexpectedly, secure people sustain longer and more fulfilling relationships. Heterosexual partners are often chosen from those with the same attachment style as the opposite-sex parent.

Research

Hazan and Shaver (1987) surveyed adults and found 56% were secure, 25% avoidant and 19% Anxious.

So What?

Using it

To build a relationship play the parent role, supporting the anxious and coaxing avoidant people. You can even play anxious yourself to give secure people someone to coddle.

Defending

Know your own style, perhaps by looking at your opposite-sex parent. Do not let your style get in the way of what you want. Get therapy or otherwise shed harmful styles.

See also

Attachment Theory, Bowlby's Attachment Theory, Love, Friendship

References

Hazan and Shaver (1987), Bowlby (1969, 1973, 1980), Ainsorth, Blehar, Waters and Wall (1978)

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