Adult Attachment Styles and Romantic Relationships

Topics: Attachment theory, Attachment in adults, Interpersonal relationship Pages: 10 (2229 words) Published: October 18, 2014
In 1987, the Attachment Theory extended to include the bonds between adults and their romantic partners; the extension includes the concept of the secure, the anxious-preoccupied, the dismissive-avoidant, and the fearful-avoidant attachment styles. Current research, in the form of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, predicts adults exhibit attachment styles during the forming, maintenance, and separation process. The research utilized the experiences in close relationships inventory and the relationship maintenance questionnaire to find their conclusion. The findings concluded the association among the adult attachment features like closeness, safe haven, and secure base develop over time during the forming, maintenance, and separation process. In addition, the conclusion display the effectiveness of both clinical and non clinical exposure treatments in the growth and preservation of the secure attachment style behaviors utilized in romantic relationships. Keywords: attachment styles, romantic relationships, partners, adults, secure, insecure Adult Attachment Styles and Romantic Relationships

More than half of the world’s adults are involved in a romantic relationship. The most common romantic relationship includes the sexual dating relationship, the domestic partnership, or the marriage. The adults or partners involved in these relationships inevitably reach a point of conflict. How the relationship partners react to the conflict displays whether the partners are acting as a securely attached person or an insecurely attached person. The securely attached adult portrays a happy person when dealing with relationship issues. Whereas, an insecurely attached adult is an unhappy person when dealing with relationship issues. Adults should strive for the secure attachment style for the best satisfaction level, commitment level, and ability to adapt to change in their romantic relationship. Background

In 1952, John Bowlby originally designed the Attachment Theory to explain the bond between a child and people serving in the caregiver capacity (Feldman, 2011). Many theorists began noticing attachment influences the entire human experience. In 1987, Cindy Hazan and Philip Shaver officially applied Bowlby’s views on attachment to include the bonds between adults and their romantic partners (Nudson-martin, 2012). Hazan and Shaver viewed attachment in adult romantic relationships as a powerful part of an adult’s emotional life, and many of the most secure and insecure behaviors arise during the maintenance of the romantic relationship. Hazan and Shaver noticed the behavioral patterns between a child and its caregiver was similar to the behavioral pattern between an adult and its romantic partner. Similarities like a desire to be close to the attachment figure and using the relationship as a safe haven to explore the world; consequently, Hazan and Shaver used Bowlby’s concept of attachment styles to categorize the behavioral patterns adults display in different stages of their romantic relationships (Pittman, 2012). Hazan and Shaver developed four adult attachment styles, secure and three insecure types. The adult attachment styles they developed are the secure, the anxious-preoccupied, the dismissive-avoidant, and the fearful-avoidant. The first attachment style is the secure type which corresponds with the secure attachment style in children. The secure adult is warm a responsive in their interactions with their romantic relationship partner. Secure attached adults tend to have positive views of themselves, their partner, and their relationship. The securely attached adult fells comfortable with intimacy and independence. Their relationships are characterized by greater longevity, satisfaction, trust, commitment, and interdependence (Mikulincer *& Shaver, 2012) Secure adults have a tendency to be more satisfied in their relationships than insecure adults. The first insecure attachment style is the...

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Mikulincer, M & Shaver, P. R. (2012). Adult Attachment Orientations and Relationship Processes. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 4(4), pp 259-274. doi: 10. 1111/j. 1756-2589.2012.00142.x
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Selcuk, E., Zayas, V.., & Hazan, C. (2010). Marital Satisfaction: The Role of Attachment in Marital Function. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 2(4), pp 258-259. doi: 10. 1111/j.1756-2589.2010.00061.x
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