Name of Theory
In the last several decades, attachment theory has provided couple and family therapists and researchers with a map for understanding love and bonding in couple and family relationships. The science of attachment has grown tremendously and now has a large base of research support from the fields of social psychology, development, and neuroscience.
British psychiatrist John Bowlby (1907–1990) outlined the basic theory of attachment: a developmental understanding of personality with a focus on emotion regulation in his trilogy on Attachment and Loss (1969–1982).
Mary Ainsworth helped Bowlby create the Strange Situation research paradigm where a mother leaves a baby alone with a stranger for a few minutes and the babies’ responses are coded on reunion. This allowed the normative and individual differences principles of attachment to be outlined.
Since the late 1980s, adult attachment has been outlined by North American...
- Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss (Vol. I). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss (Vol. 2). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss (Vol. 3). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Coan, J. (2016). Towards a neuroscience of attachment. In J. Cassidy & P. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research and clinical applications (3rd ed., pp. 242–272). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Diamond, G. (2005). Attachment based family therapy for depressed and anxious adolescents. In J. Lebow (Ed.), Handbook of clinical family therapy (pp. 17–41). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Fonagy, P., Luyten, P., Allison, E., & Campbell, C. (2016). Reconciling psychoanalytic ideas with attachment theory. In J. Cassidy & P. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research and clinical applications (pp. 805–826). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Johnson, S. M. (2004). The practice of emotionally focused couple therapy: Creating connection. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Johnson, S. M., & Best, M. (2003). A systemic approach to restructuring adult attachment: The EFT model of couples therapy. In P. Erdman & T. Caffery (Eds.), Attachment and family systems (pp. 165–192). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. (2007). Attachment in adulthood: Structure, dynamics and change. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective neuroscience: The foundations of animal and human emotions. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Rogge, R. D., Cobb, R. J., Lawrence, E., Johnson, M. D., & Bradbury, T. N. (2013). Is skills training necessary for the primary prevention of marital distress and dissolution? A three year experimental study of three interventions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81, 949–961.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar