Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Insecure Attachment

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_2025-1


Insecure attachment

An individual relationship can be insecure when it contains elements of mistrust together with anxious or avoidant elements and lacks a secure base. It is considered a dysfunctional relationship.

Insecure attachment style

This is an interpersonal style with anxious (e.g., fearful or anxious ambivalent) or avoidant (e.g., dismissive) characteristics related to problematic experience in childhood and difficulties with careers and adult relationships. Such styles affect around 30% or more of the population, depending on which measures used.

Anxious attachment style

Enmeshed/Preoccupied is a dependent style with high need for proximity and under-developed autonomy. It involves clinging behavior which can involve anger when needs are not met. Fearful style involves fear of rejection or criticism and this is often accompanied by behavioral avoidance.

Dismissive/Avoidant styles include those withdrawn who have over-developed self-reliance and keep distance from...


Attachment Style Insecure Attachment Borderline Personality Disorder Anxious Attachment Adult Attachment 
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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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology and Human Well-being Research Centre, Faculty of Social Sciences and HumanitiesUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBandar Baru BangiMalaysia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christopher J. Holden
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Carolina UniversityCullowheeUSA