Attachment theory: A glance at the past, a look to the future Chapter uri icon


  • Attachment theory suggests that the influence of childhood relationships extends well into adulthood and that inadequate relationships early in life can lead to opposing, but equally dysfunctional, orientations toward the interpersonal world. J. Bowlby and M. D. S. Ainsworth state, persons who experience impoverished relationships in childhood may either shrink from potential attachment figures in fear or struggle vigorously to receive their care and support. In this chapter, the authors describe 2 behavioral observation studies, both of which are based on the premise that these types of behavior are the joint product of attachment history and current involvement in interpersonal situations that serve to trigger or "release" affective and behavioral patterns formed through prior experience with attachment figures. Before describing these studies, the authors first review the theoretical context from which they derive. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

author list (cited authors)

  • Simpson, J. A., & Rholes, W. S

complete list of authors

  • Simpson, JA||Rholes, WS

editor list (cited editors)

  • Simpson, J. A., & Rholes, W. S.

Book Title

  • Attachment theory and close relationships

publication date

  • January 1998