Attachment, Emotion Regulation and Adult Crying

  • Joyce Maas
  • Anja Laan
  • Ad Vingerhoets


Attachment serves to facilitate the contact with and proximity to the primary caregiver, in that way contributing to a safe exploration of the environment. However, due to inconsistencies in the reaction of the caregiver or her/his absence, insecure attachment styles may develop. This chapter summarizes attachment theory and assessment issues and describes how these attachment processes may exert a life-time influence on emotion regulation. While securely attached individuals can deal adequately with both positive and negative emotions, dismissively attached individuals develop a strong tendency to suppress or deactivate negative affect. In contrast, preoccupied attached individuals hyperactivate negative affect to get attention from their attachment figure. Since there is a close connection between emotion regulation and well-being, this may explain why securely attached individuals generally have more satisfying relationships and a better well-being than their insecurely attached counterparts.


Emotion Regulation Negative Emotion Positive Emotion Attachment Style Attachment Figure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral Science InstituteRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenNetherlands

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