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Patterns of Nonverbal Behavior and Sensivity in the Context of Attachment Relations

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Abstract

Nonverbal behavior and sensitivity to a relationship partner’s nonverbal behavior importantly influence the quality of interpersonal interactions and relationships, including attachment relationships. The abilities to encode, or express, and to decode, or understand, nonverbal cues are crucial to effective communication of emotions and are associated with social adjustment and relationship satisfaction. One important social context for the development and use of nonverbal encodingand decoding abilities is what Bowlby (1969/1982, Attachment and loss: Vol.1.Attachment (2nd ed.). New York: Basic Books) called attachment relationships—interpersonal relationships in which one person’s emotional security depends on another person’s sensitive, responsive caregiving and support. In this paper, we present theoretical ideas, review relevant research, and propose new avenues of research dealing with associations between attachment-related processes and patterns of nonverbal behavior and sensitivity in adulthood, two domains of research that have not previously been adequately connected.

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Schachner, D.A., Shaver, P.R. & Mikulincer, M. Patterns of Nonverbal Behavior and Sensivity in the Context of Attachment Relations. J Nonverbal Behav 29, 141–169 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-005-4847-x

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