Adult Attachment: Theory, Research, and Clinical Implications


With contributions from leading investigators, this volume presents important theoretical and empirical advances in the study of adult attachment. Chapters take stock of the state of knowledge in the field and introduce new, testable theoretical models to guide future research. Major topics covered include stability and change of attachment orientations across the lifespan; influences of attachment on cognitive functioning; and implications for the ways individuals experience intimacy, conflict, caregiving, and ...
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With contributions from leading investigators, this volume presents important theoretical and empirical advances in the study of adult attachment. Chapters take stock of the state of knowledge in the field and introduce new, testable theoretical models to guide future research. Major topics covered include stability and change of attachment orientations across the lifespan; influences of attachment on cognitive functioning; and implications for the ways individuals experience intimacy, conflict, caregiving, and satisfaction in adult relationships. Also explored are the ways attachment theory and research can inform therapy with couples and can further understanding of such significant clinical problems as PTSD and depression.
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Editorial Reviews

EABP Newsletter
"The protocol and measurement techniques of this thorough study serves as a useful model for further research in the field."—EABP Newsletter
From the Publisher
"Rholes and Simpson have gathered a stellar cast to produce a cutting-edge treatment of one of the most vibrant and important domains in psychology. Fascinating, clear, comprehensive, and beautifully edited, this book is required reading for psychologists who want to know where adult attachment theory has been and where it is going, or who simply want to know more about the nature of human intimacy."—Garth Fletcher, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

"An exceptional and important text for anyone interested in adult attachment. Many of the field's major theoreticians and researchers have been assembled to offer sophisticated presentations of their state-of-the-art work. The editors and contributors are to be commended for producing a superb volume that is both broad and rich—the perfect text for a graduate course in contemporary attachment theory and research."—Kenneth N. Levy, PhD, Pennsylvania State University

"Along with providing comprehensive reviews of the literature across a number of attachment-related topics, this book directly confronts a number of long-standing issues in the field. These include the validity of self-reports; change and stability in attachment security; explicit versus implicit working models; and general versus relationship-specific attachment. Dealing with attachment issues in therapy is also an important focus. A 'must read' for those seriously interested in research in adult attachment."—Pat Noller, PhD, School of Psychology (Emeritus), University of Queensland, Australia

Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy
"This is a necessary reference for anyone involved in attachment research. It is a comprehensive resource, brimming with empirical evidence to support its discussions. Graduate students interested in attachment research, and in need of a thesis topic, will find this to be the ultimate guide to future research ideas....The chapter on couples' therapy alone makes this book worth the price. Additionally, it contains a wealth of 'conversation-starters' to use with clients and I can foresee extracting some of the more intriguing points to motivate couples to think in new directions about how their attachment-related responses impact their relationships."—Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy
Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
"This is a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of essays reporting on theoretical developments, research findings, and clinical applications of the rapidly evolving field of attachment on the adult level."—Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book covers attachment across the lifespan, in terms of theory, assessment, intrapersonal, and interpersonal aspects. Attachment theory is a comprehensive model of psychological functioning, stemming from Bowlby's work in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most people are familiar with attachment theory and young children, but this book goes to great lengths to show how it is measured and understood in adulthood.
Purpose: According to the editors, this book "brings together leading investigators to show-case important theoretical and empirical advances in adult attachment during the last decade. Reviewing the state of the science of this dynamic area — and updating the growing knowledge base — chapters also consider clinical implications and introduce new, testable theoretical models to guide future research." The book meets the editors' objectives.
Audience: The editors state, "highlighting new directions and emerging issues, this book is a timely, authoritative resource for attachment researchers; instructors and students in developmental, social, and clinical psychology and related mental health disciplines; and clinicians working with individuals and couples. It serves as a uniquely informative text for advanced undergraduate- or graduate-level courses in attachment theory and close relationships." The editors and contributors are credible authorities.
Features: The book covers many areas of adult attachment including theoretical assumptions, attachment measures, self-representations, interpersonal aspects, and applied issues such as PTSD, depression, and attachment styles. I especially enjoyed chapter 7, "Working Models of Attachment: New Developments and Emerging Themes." It was a nice theoretical discussion, pulling the details together of how adult relationships are influenced in a multifaceted manner by a long history of social and emotional experiences. Unfortunately, readers can get stuck in the mud in places because the material is difficult to comprehend. This probably would affect the undergraduate audience, who may not have a good handle on all the psychological jargon.
Assessment: All in all, this book contains a large amount of information on adult attachment, providing theoretical constructs, reviewing assessment tools, and looking at both interpersonal and intrapersonal perspectives. The editors and contributors integrate the most recent research findings. Finally, the clinical applications are helpful to see how the theory is really used with clients. I certainly learned a lot from this book because the contributors are experts in the field who have dedicated their lives to studying this important theory.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593853761
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/15/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 482
  • Sales rank: 1,466,676
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

W. Steven Rholes, PhD, is Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology at Texas A&M University. He has conducted research programs in social cognition, children's social development, and adult attachment since receiving a degree in psychology from Princeton University in 1978. In 1992, along with his colleague Jeffry Simpson, Dr. Rholes published one of the first studies to confirm predictions about avoidant attachment style, using behavioral observations as evidence. For the past decade, the impact of attachment styles on emotional support sought and provided by members of romantic couples has been the central focus of his research program. Dr. Rholes has also served in two administrative positions, department chair and associate dean, during this period.

Jeffry A. Simpson, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Minnesota. Formerly, he was Professor of Psychology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Simpson received his doctorate in psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1986. His research focuses on interpersonal relationships, evolution and social behavior, and social influence, and he serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction: New Directions and Emerging Issues in Adult Attachment
1. Attachment Theory: Basic Concepts and Contemporary Questions, W. Steven Rholes and Jeffry A. Simpson
II. Attachment Processes across the Lifespan: Continuity, Discontinuity, Change, and Measurement Issues
2. What Do Self-Report Attachment Measures Assess?, Phillip R. Shaver and Mario Mikulincer
3. What Does It Mean to Be Attached?, Cindy Hazan, Nurit Gur-Yaish, and Mary Campa
4. A Dynamical Systems Approach to Conceptualizing and Studying Stability and Change in Attachment Security, R. Chris Fraley and Claudia Chloe Brumbaugh
5. Predictors of Change in Attachment Security during Adulthood, Joanne Davila and Rebecca J. Cobb
III. Intrapersonal Aspects of Attachment: Cognitive Organization, Structure, and Information Processing
6. Security-Based Self-Representations in Adulthood: Contents and Processes, Mario Mikulincer and Phillip R. Shaver
7. Working Models of Attachment: New Developments and Emerging Themes, Nancy L. Collins, AnaMarie C. Guichard, Maire B. Ford, and Brooke C. Feeney
8. Psychobiological Perspectives on Attachment: Implications for Health over the Lifespan, Lisa M. Diamond and Angela M. Hicks
IV. Interpersonal Aspects of Attachment: Intimacy, Conflict, Caregiving, and Satisfaction
9. Conflict in Adult Close Relationships: An Attachment Perspective, Paula R. Pietromonaco, Dara Greenwood, and Lisa Feldman Barrett
10. Interpersonal Safe Haven and Secure Base Caregiving Processes in Adulthood, Brooke C. Feeney and Nancy L. Collins
11. Adult Attachment and Relationship Functioning under Stressful Conditions: Understanding Partners' Responses to Conflict and Challenge, Judith A. Feeney
V. Clinical and Applied Issues: Therapy, Psychopathology, and Well-Being
12. Attachment Theory: A Guide for Healing Couple Relationships, Susan M. Johnson
13. Attachment-Related Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Implications for Adult Adaptation, Roger Kobak, Jude Cassidy, and Yair Ziv
14. Anxious Attachment and Depressive Symptoms: An Interpersonal Perspective, Jeffry A. Simpson and W. Steven Rholes
15. Attachment Styles and Intrapersonal Adjustment: A Longitudinal Study from Adolescence into Young Adulthood, M. Lynne Cooper, Austin W. Albino, Holly K. Orcutt, and Natalie Williams

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