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Adult Attachment

a desperate seeking of the lost partner much like the seeking for the caregiver done by the infant. After the person realizes that their lost partner is not coming back, they fall into depression and assume the lethargy of an infant. The third stage is detachment when the person resumes normal living and may even look for another attachment bond. (Zeifman, D. & Hazan, C., 1997) This similarity is evidence of the same mechanism at work. Both types of relationships follow the same pattern of anxiety and loss, and this loss is exclusive to these types of relationships.

These behaviors lead one to believe that this attachment mechanism is indeed at work once again in a person’s life. But is it the same bond? Bowlby’s original theory stated that early relationships (infant-caregiver) provide working models for later relationships and that adult attachment relationships should mimic this bond. Studies have shown that adult attachment can change over time. Kirkpatrick and Hazan (1994) found that although attachment styles, like trait personality characteristics, are fairly consistent over time, they can change with important changes in relationships. A particularly caring and responsive partner could turn an anxious/ambivalent into a securely attached relationship partner. On the other hand, a securely attached person could be badly burned and become avoidant. People in relationships will tend to view themselves and their partners as more secure than if they were not in a relationship. (Latty-Mann & Davis, 1996)

Hazan and Zeifman (1994) present more evidence. They performed two studies to assess whether the attachment bond shifts from a caregiver to a significant other. They found that as a child grows older the roles of an attachment bond do shift in responsibility from parents to peers. As a relationship progresses, an individual gives up proximity

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