University of Illinois at Chicago
As humans, building relationships between others is a form of connecting and communicating. It is a social situation that is experienced every day through the course of a lifetime. The initial relationship that is made is between the mother and the child. This bond that connects two people is known to be called attachment. The theory of attachment begins at birth, and from that, continuing on to other relationships in family, friends, and romance. Attachment is taught through social experiences, however the relationship with the mother and her temperament are the key factors in shaping the infants attachment type, which will stay with them throughout the course of a lifetime. (Bowlby, 1979) To understand attachment type, it is categorized in three major styles: secure, avoidant, and anxious/ambivalent. It is understood that that these types are determined by the relationship with the parents during childhood. Several studies have tested attachment in various forms. In one study (Dinero, Conger, Shaver, Widaman & Larsen-Rife, 2008) attachment was tested by examining the quality of family interactions during adolescence period and their romantic relationship as a young adult. The results found were not surprising; parents who are positive, warm, caring and kind toward their teen prove to be the most supportive and secure. This helped form and lead the young adult into a secure romantic relationship. Something interesting that was found was that as a relationship begins to get more serious, like marriage, the original influence of the familial attachment begins to change into a combination of that and of their partner. (Dinero et al., 2008) The second study (Hazan & Shaver, 1987) states romantic love as an “attachment process” by saying that this process is similar to the one created between the mother and the child. This study correlates
References: Bowlby, J. (1979). The making and breaking of affectional bonds. London: Tavistock. Dinero, R. E., Conger, R. D., Shaver, P. R., Widaman, K. F., Larsen-Rife, D. (2008). Influence of family of origin and adult romantic partners on romantic attachment security. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 622-632. Hazan, C., Shaver, P. (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 511-524. Simpson, J. A., Collins, A. W., Tran, S., Haydon, K. C. (2007). Attachment and the experience and expression of emotion in romantic relationships: A developmental perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 355-367. Simpson, J. A., Rholes, S. W., Phillips, D. (1996). Conflict in close relationships: An attachment perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 899 914.