Attachment Theory and Affect Regulation: The Dynamics, Development, and Cognitive Consequences of Attachment-Related Strategies

Abstract

Attachment theory (J. Bowlby, 1982/1969, 1973) is one of the most useful and generative frameworks for understanding both normative and individual-differences aspects of the process of affect regulation. In this article we focus mainly on the different attachment-related strategies of affect regulation that result from different patterns of interactions with significant others. Specifically, we pursue 3 main goals: First, we elaborate the dynamics and functioning of these affect-regulation strategies using a recent integrative model of attachment-system activation and dynamics (P. R. Shaver & M. Mikulincer, 2002). Second, we review recent findings concerning the cognitive consequences of attachment-related strategies following the arousal of positive and negative affect. Third, we propose some integrative ideas concerning the formation and development of the different attachment-related strategies.

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Mikulincer, M., Shaver, P.R. & Pereg, D. Attachment Theory and Affect Regulation: The Dynamics, Development, and Cognitive Consequences of Attachment-Related Strategies. Motivation and Emotion 27, 77–102 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024515519160

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  • attachment
  • affect regulation
  • personality development