Social and Biological Events in Infancy and Their Relevance for Later Behavior

  • Kevin B. MacDonald
Part of the Perspectives in Developmental Psychology book series (PDPS)


It is incumbent on anyone writing a book on social development from an evolutionary perspective to write a chapter on attachment. Indeed, it is probably correct to state that the area of attachment theory and research has constituted the most visible triumph of an evolutionary approach within developmental psychology. There will be no attempt to review the research literature on attachment; instead I focus on some specific issues deriving from the concerns stated in Chapters 1 and 2. The purposes of this chapter are as follows: (a) to describe John Bowlby’s theory of attachment and present it as a paradigm of a modern evolutionary theory of a developmental system; (b) to consider the question of the adaptiveness of attachment in the light of contemporary evolutionary theory; (c) to relate attachment to the theory of temperament described in Chapter 2; and (d) to address several of the theoretical issues raised in Chapter 1, namely the importance of early experience, the relative plasticity of social development, and the continuity and stability of behavior.


Secure Attachment Insecure Attachment Attachment Relationship Parental Warmth Attachment Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin B. MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.California State University-Long BeachLong BeachUSA

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