Human Attachment

Virginia L. Colin
Book Cover

HC: $91.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-459-8
Publication: Feb 96

416 pages
6.5 x 9.25
8 halftones

The first and only comprehensive introduction to one theory in personality development


This brand new book is the first and only comprehensive introduction to attachment research and theory. It explains theory, research methodology, research results, and discusses both healthy and pathological development in infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The book is organized into four units. Unit I tells the story of the early history of attachment theory and research, then introduces the major propositions of attachment theory. Unit II describes the three major methods for studying attachment in infancy, then discusses how infants form attachments. Unit III discusses representational models, methods for studying attachments in childhood, and the association between attachment patterns and aspects of personality and social behavior in childhood. Unit IV begins by describing hypotheses about what's happening with attachments and how attachment patterns affect feelings, thoughts, behavior, and intimate relationships in adolescence and in the adult years. Finally, it describes what data about personality, relationships, marriage, loneliness, separation, loss, and old age we can relate to attachment patterns.

Table of Contents


Part I: Overview
1. The Early History of Attachment Theory and Research
2. Major Propositions of Attachment Theory
Definitions • The Biological Function of Attachment Behavior • Goal-Corrected Behavioral Systems • Activators and Terminators • Motivation • Other Behavioral Systems • The Secure Base Phenomenon • Emotions and Attachments • Infant Patterns • The Impact of Early Experience • Attachment Hierarchies • Developmental Changes • Representational Models • How Representational Models Perpetuate Early Patterns • Multiple Models • Vulnerability to Psychopathology • Continuity and Change • Psychotherapy • Common Misperceptions about Attachment Theory • Chapter Summary

Part II: Infancy and Early Childhood
3. Research Methods for Infancy
Naturalistic Observations • The Strange Situation and the Patterns of Attachment • The Attachment Q-Set • Chapter Summary
4. Phases in the Development of Attachments in Infancy 67
Phase 1: The Preattachment Phase • Phase 2: Attachment-in-the-Making • The Turning Point: Evidence from Separation Studies • Phase 3: Clear-Cut Attachment • Phase 4: The Goal-Corrected Partnership • Abnormal Environments: Babies in Institutions • Nonattachment • Chapter Summary
5. Sensitive Responsiveness
The Baltimore Study • Limitations of the Baltimore Study and Its Replications • The Minneapolis Study • The Bielefeld Study • The Bloomington Study • The Pennsylvania Infant and Family Development Project • Quantity and Quality of Interaction • Diverging Research Approaches, Converging Results • Maltreatment Studies • Measuring Sensitivity • Critiques of Studies of Material Sensitivity • Chapter Summary
6. More Influences on Attachment Patterns
The Caregiver’s Personality • Demographic Factors • Drug Use • The Infant’s Temperament • Premature Birth and Early Illness • Intensities of Effects of Parent Factors and Infant Factors • The Social Network • Next Steps in Research • Blaming the Victim: A Polemical Interlude • Chapter Summary
7. Early Correlates and Sequelae of Attachment Patterns
Stability of Attachment Patterns in Infancy • Predictions from Theory • Developments in Family Relationships • Interactions with Teachers • Relations with Peers • Cognitive Development • The Correlates and Implications of Avoidance • Are Sequelae Effects? • Limitations on the Predictive Power of Early Adaptations • Chapter Summary
8. Cultural Variations in Attachment Relationships
Basic Considerations • Differences among Cultures • Cultural Contrasts • Validity of the Strange Situation Across Cultures • Distributions of Strange Situation Classifications in Contrasting Cultures • Is the Strange Situation Too Stressful? • Meta-Analyses • Unanswered Questions • Sequelae of Strange Situation Classifications in Other Cultures • Adaptive Behavior from a Biological Perspective • Adaptive Advantages from the Mental Health Perspective • Chapter Summary
9. Fathers
The Father’s Role • A Basic Question • Distribution of Patterns of Attachment to Fathers • Determinants of Security • Concordance in Infant-Mother and Infant-Father Attachments • A Meta-Analysis • Chapter Summary
10. Maternal Employment and Infant Day Care
Maternal Employment • Infant Day Care • Chapter Summary
11. Attachment Hierarchies
Methodological Issues • Determinants of the Attachment Hierarchy • Naturalistic Observations • Experiments • The Attachment Network • Chapter Summary
12. Early Intervention
Disorders of Attachment in Infancy • Successes in Treating Attachment Disorders • A Case Study: Tanya • A Case Study: Sarah • Identifying Families in Need of Intervention • Beginning Intervention with High-Risk Families • The Complexity of Effective Intervention • Day Care as a Component of Intervention • The Effectiveness of Intervention • Societal Intervention: A Polemical Interlude • Assistance to Families in Low-Risk Circumstances • Chapter Summary

Part III: Childhood
13. Representational Models
Features of Representational Models • The Goal-Corrected Partnership • Developmental Psychopathology • Defensive Exclusion • Memory Systems and Information Processing • Developmental Changes • Working Models in Infancy • Working Models in the Preschool Years • School-Age Children • Psychopathology • Chapter Summary
14. Assessment in Childhood
Preschoolers: Separation-Reunion Paradigms • Preschoolers: Story Completion • Assessment Around Age 6 • Next Steps in Methodology • Chapter Summary
15. Childhood Correlates of Attachment Patterns
Stability and Change • Self-Image • Behavior with Parents • Behavior with Siblings • Behavior with Peers and Strangers • Interim Summary • Behavior Problems • Ego Strengths • Chapter Summary

Part IV: Adolescence and Adulthood
16. Theoretical Speculations
Fundamental Propositions • Falling in Love • Nonsexual New Attachments • Continuation of Attachments to Parents • Transmitting Patterns from One Generation to the Next • Old Age • Chapter Summary
17. Assessing Adult Attachments
The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) • Self-Classification • Bartholomew’s Attachment Interview • Measures of Specific Adult Attachments • Chapter Summary
18. Research About Adolescent and Adult Attachments
Personality and Relationships • Marriage • Loneliness • Employment • Separation and Loss • Old Age • Chapter Summary

Name Index
Subject Index

About the Author(s)

Virginia L. Colin earned her degrees in psychology from Swarthmore, Columbia, and the University of Virginia, where Mary Ainsworth, co-founder of attachment theory, was her principal mentor. As a self-employed research consultant since 1986, Dr. Colin has studied hundreds of babies and parents, some in low-risk samples, and some at high risk for developmental delays and/or disturbances associated with medical problems, poverty, immaturity, abuse, and neglect. She has worked on projects for the National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Institute, the University of Notre Dame, Columbia University, and others. In addition to conducting research, Dr. Colin has worked as an assistant professor, provided developmental counseling and psychotherapy services, and provided specialized foster care services for troubled adolescents.