Introduction: Understanding relationships - what we would need to know to conceptualize attachment as the cultural solution of a universal developmental task

Autor(en): Keller, H. 
Erscheinungsdatum: 2014
Herausgeber: Cambridge University Press
Journal: Different Faces of Attachment: Cultural Variations on a Universal Human Need
Startseite: 1
Seitenende: 24
The definition of attachment as a primary bond between infants and caregivers emerging at around 1 year of age as an evolved adaptation for ensuring survival and development was the seminal contribution of the British psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby and his (later) Canadian-American counterpart Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters et al., 1978; Bowlby, 1969). Attachment theory has initiated a tremendous body of research over the last decades, particularly expanding its focus on neurophysiological regulations, and extending it to adulthood and clinical applications. Nevertheless, the theoretical and methodological foundations have remained amazingly unaffected, although the basis of knowledge concerning the infant's socioemotional development has increased substantially since the publication of Bowlby's well-known trilogy Attachment and Loss and Ainsworth and collaborators' summary of their empirical research on the emergence of attachment during the first year of life (1978). The first encompassing proposal for the refinement of conceptual and methodological issues of attachment theory and research was published by Michael Lamb and collaborators in 1984 in the renowned journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences - though without any observable notice by other attachment researchers. Attachment theory is grounded in evolutionary theory with its basic tenet that every human characteristic is shaped through selection processes and represents an adaptation to contextual demands. Bowlby stressed explicitly the contextual nature of attachment in his early writings. Yet Bowlby focused mainly on the social environment, especially the mother, since he did not include information about other caregivers and the family and their living conditions in his World Health Organization (WHO) report (Bowlby, 1969; for a more detailed discussion, see Vicedo, 2013). © Cambridge University Press 2014.
ISBN: 9781139226684
DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139226684.002
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