The Role Of Attachment In Close Relationships

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This essay looks at whether attachment plays a role in close relationships by explaining what attachment is, looking at research, and considering alternative approaches. Attachment Our infant experiences with our mother prepare us for adult relationships (Bowlby, 1960). From this, we form opinions about self-esteem and interpersonal trust. These create four attachment types found in both adult and mother-infant bonds (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991) that affect our close relationships. Secure These individuals have high self-esteem and interpersonal trust giving them a sense of deservingness and long-lasting relationships (Shaver & Brennan, 1992). Fearful-avoidant Fearful-avoidant individuals have low self-esteem and interpersonal trust meaning…show more content…
Firstly, romance is seen as an identity issued used to broaden one’s self-concept. Secondly, it is used to manipulate one’s social standing due to publicity. It is a common reason for young adolescents to date but not for older adolescents (Roscoe et al., 1987). The focus then shifts from the context to the relationship itself. Older adolescents claim companionship and intimacy as the most beneficial aspects of a relationship (Feiring, 1996). Finally, adolescents begin to think about commitment. Shared goals for the future are the main reason for older adolescents to date (Roscoe et al.,…show more content…
Partners should self-disclose to become closer to each other. They should make positive attributions about their partner as individuals who accredit positive events to their partners are happier (Bradbury & Fincham, 1990). Partners should accept and respect self-disclosed information because couples who respect each other are good at repairing negative conversations (Gottman, 1995). There should be reciprocity between them. Finally, this process should be ongoing to adapt to the changes couples face as this is an important criterion for closeness (Kelley et al, 1983). Whilst this theory is similar to attachment as individuals make attributions about their attachment figure, there is reciprocity between them unlike mother-infant bonds (Weiss, 1982). Furthermore, I prefer minding as it is continuous whereas attachment styles are supposedly rigid (Klohnen & Bera, 1998). Conclusion Whilst there is clear empirical evidence that suggests attachment plays a role in close relationships, I prefer Brown’s model (1999) for developing close relationships and Minding for maintaining them. I dislike the idea that your bond with your mother dictates your adult relationships and that your attachment style is unchangeable (Klohnen & Bera, 1998) thus dooming all but securely attached individuals to a life of unfulfilling
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