Infant Attachment Styles and General Anxiety Disorder in Adults

Topics: Attachment theory, Psychology, Anxiety Pages: 4 (1373 words) Published: March 30, 2011
Infant Attachment styles and general anxiety disorder in adults

Purpose
The purpose of this study is to look at the relationship between infant attachment styles and psychological wellbeing, with general anxiety as a measure of psychological wellbeing. This study will use an adult sample that will go through psychological tests to determine what attachment style each individual had when they were infants. After establishing their attachment styles their general anxiety levels will be tested. The results of these tests will help in establishing the relationship between the two variables. This study will have positive outcomes because it will improve existing information on this subject in psychology. This study could provide a better explanation of the general anxiety levels of some adults and hopefully provide information that can help in development of different treatments for general anxiety. The look at attachment styles could help in showing how much of an impact infant attachment has on a person later on in their life and it could provide a framework for how to deal with any negative impact that may arise because of these infant attachment styles.

The attachment theory is based on the work by J. Bowlby and M.S. Ainsworth (Bretherton, 1992). Their work outlined the facts that led to how an infant developed a bond with their primary caregivers. In their work they established that there are four styles of attachment, secure attachment, anxious-avoidant attachment, anxious-resistant and disorganized attachment (Cassidy & Mohr, 2001). Secure attachment is when an infant can actively explore their environment and interact with strangers because they are certain of the accessibility and responsiveness of their caregiver. Anxious-avoidant attachment is when an infant actively ignores their caregiver and they show very little distress at being away from the caregiver (Newman & Newman, 2006). Anxious-resistant attachment is when an infant is unable to...

References: Bretherton, I. (1992). The Origins of Attachment Theory: John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Developmental Psychology, 28 (5), 759-775
Cassidy, J. & Mohr, J.J., (2001). Unsolvable Fear, Trauma, and Psychopathology: Theory, Research, and Clinical Considerations Related to Disorganized Attachment Across the Lifespan. Clinical Psychology: Science in Practice, 8(3), 275-298
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Spitzer,R.L., Kroenke, K., Williams,J.B.W., & Lowe,B., (2006). A Brief Measure for Assessing Generalized Anxiety Disorder: The GAD-7. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166(10), 1092-1097
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