Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Author Item Summary Meta data
Corr I 29 (XXIX)
Personality/attachment theory/Bowlby: Bowlby’s insight was that the child’s pattern of relationships with its primary care-giver affected adult personality; secure attachment to the care-giver promoted healthy adjustment in later life. The theory references many of the key themes of this review of personality. Attachment style may be measured by observation or questionnaire; a common distinction is between secure, anxious and avoidant styles (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters and Wall 1978)(1). It also corresponds to standard traits; for example, secure attachment correlates with Extraversion and Agreeableness (Carver 1997)(2). Attachment likely possesses biological aspects (evident in ethological studies of primates), social aspects (evident in data on adult relationships), and cognitive aspects (evident in studies of the mental representations supporting attachment style).

1. Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E. and Wall, S. 1978. Patterns of attachment: a psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
2. Carver, C. S. 1997. Adult attachment and personality: converging evidence and a new measure, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 23: 865–83

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Corr I 228
Attachment theory/Bowlby/Shaver/Mikulincer: Bowlby’s attachment theory (Bowlby 1973(1), 1980(2), 1982/1969(3)) was then elaborated and empirically tested by Mary Ainsworth and her colleagues (e.g., Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters and Wall 1978(4)). See also Attachment theory/Ainsworth.
Question: why separations from mother early in life causes so much psychological difficulty for children, adolescents and adults later in life (e.g., Bowlby 1951(5), 1958(6)).

1. Bowlby, J. 1973. Attachment and loss, vol. II, Separation: anxiety and anger. New York: Basic Books
2. Bowlby, J. 1980. Attachment and loss, vol. III, Sadness and depression. New York: Basic Books
3. Bowlby, J. 1982. Attachment and loss, vol. I, Attachment, 2nd edn. New York: Basic Books (original edn 1969)
4. Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E. and Wall, S. 1978. Patterns of attachment: assessed in the Strange Situation and at home. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum
5. Bowlby, J. 1951. Maternal care and mental health. Geneva: World Health Organization
6. Bowlby, J. 1958. The nature of the child’s tie to his mother, International Journal of Psychoanalysis 39: 350–73

Phillip R. Shaver and Mario Mikulincer, “Attachment theory: I. Motivational, individual-differences and structural aspects”, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Bowlby, John
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-07-23
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