In the sections below I discuss some of the parallels that have been discovered between the way that infant-caregiver relationships and adult romantic relationships function. As a result, the model of the attachment figure and the model of the self are likely to develop so as to be complementary and mutually confirming. The earliest research on adult attachment involved studying the association between individual differences in adult attachment and the way people think about their relationships and their memories for what their relationships with their parents are like.
Investigators study the stability of working models by looking at the stability of attachment styles. Bowlby observed that attachment behaviors in children can be triggered by the presence of a rival:. Brennan's findings suggested that there are two fundamental dimensions with respect to adult attachment patterns see Figure 2. The attachment responds positively to the request for closeness, which reaffirms a sense of security and reduces anxiety. Similar to the dismissive-avoidant attachment style, people with a fearful-avoidant attachment style seek less intimacy from attachments and frequently suppress and deny their feelings.
theory of adult romantic attachment as it was originally formulated by Hazan and Shaver in the s (Hazan. & Shaver, ; Shaver & Hazan, ; Shaver. In the s, Cindy Hazan and Phillip Shaver were able to garner a lot of attention, then, when they turned attachment theory on adult relationships. In their .
The lack of responsiveness increases feelings of insecurity and anxiety.
Some may even view close relationships as relatively unimportant. More positive thoughts can encourage more creative responses to difficult problems or distressing situations. This corresponds to the distinction between positive and negative thoughts about others in working models. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. To learn more about attachment theory and research, please check out the book Omri, Gery, and I wrote.
Many attachment psychologists argue that early relationships with our primary caregivers have an effect on later relationships. This idea is based upon the internal working model, which was proposed by Bowlby in his monotropic theory. Bowlby sees attachment as monotropic, where infants have an innate tendency to form an attachment to one particular person. This attachment is the strongest of them all, forming a model for future relationships, which the infant will expect from others. There are several attachment types that a child can develop in infancy. Of the volunteer sample, they found that those who were Hazan and shaver adult attachment attached as infants tended to have long lasting relationships, on the other hand, insecurely attached people found adult relationships more difficult, tended to divorce, and believed love was rare. However, this theory has been accused Hazan and shaver adult attachment being reductionist because it assumes that people who are insecurely attached as children will become insecurely attached as adults and have poor quality adult relationships.