Adult Attachment

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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ADULT ATTACHMENT

In 1984, Main and Goldwyn performed an experiment to denote whether early patterns of attachment influence adult relationships and in particular, the attachment with their own children. In this study, each participant under went an Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) where they were asked about both their adult and childhood relationships. Every adult was then classified into four groups so that the attachment with their children could be assessed. They found a link with Ainsworth's study and realised there was a correlation between the infant attachment types and the adult classification. The first classification was dismissing (detached); in this group, people's childhood experiences are not seen as important and neither are personal relationships. Referring back to the link with Ainsworth's study, they found that adults in this classification, usually had infants who were insecurely (anxious-avoidant) attached. The second group was Autonomous (secure), adults in this category thought relationships to be important and both positive and negative experiences were recalled in the AAI with insight into how they influenced themselves - this group was linked with the infant attachment type B - secure. Preoccupied (entangled) was the third group and contained adults who recognised the emotional significance of their past experiences, yet they were often unresolved - their children were found to be insecurely (anxious-ambivalent) attached. Finally, there was the unresolved (disorganised) group where adults suffered traumatic separation from their attachment figure and were never able to come to terms with this event. (Often, they had also been abused) Unsurprisingly, they found that their children were usually type D of infant attachment and were also classed as disorganised. Overall they found that, early attachments did have a significant effect…...

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