Adult Attachment

1st Edition

A Concise Introduction to Theory and Research

Print ISBN: 9780124200203
eBook ISBN: 9780124200760
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 22nd March 2016
Page Count: 346
46.95 + applicable tax
37.99 + applicable tax
59.95 + applicable tax
Compatible Not compatible
VitalSource PC, Mac, iPhone & iPad Amazon Kindle eReader
ePub & PDF Apple & PC desktop. Mobile devices (Apple & Android) Amazon Kindle eReader
Mobi Amazon Kindle eReader Anything else

Institutional Access


Adult Attachment: A Concise Introduction to Theory and Research is an easy-to-read and highly accessible reference on attachment that deals with many of the key concepts and topics studied within attachment theory. This book is comprised of a series of chapters framed by common questions that are typically asked by novices entering the field of attachment. The content of each chapter focuses on answering this overarching question.

Topics on the development of attachment are covered from different levels of analysis, including species, individual, and relationship levels, working models of attachment, attachment functions and hierarchies, attachment stability and change over time and across situations, relationship contexts, the cognitive underpinnings of attachment and its activation of enhancement via priming, the interplay between the attachment behavioral system and other behavioral systems, the effects of context on attachment, the contribution of physiology/neurology and genetics to attachment, the associations/differences between attachment and temperament, the conceptualization and measurement of attachment, and the association between attachment and psychopathology/therapy.

Key Features

  • Uses a question-and-answer format to address the most important topics within attachment theory
  • Presents information in a simple, easy-to-understand way to ensure accessibility for novices in the field of attachment
  • Covers the main concepts and issues that relate to attachment theory, thus ensuring readers develop a strong foundation in attachment theory that they can then apply to the study of relationships
  • Addresses future directions in the field of attachment theory
  • Concisely covers material, ensuring scholars and professionals can quickly get up-to-speed with the most recent research


Students embarking on research into attachment, academics interested in close relationships from disciplines such as psychology, communication studies, and sociology, and clinicians who want to use attachment theory as a framework for therapy.

Table of Contents

  • Dedications
  • Prologue
  • Chapter 1: What Is Attachment Theory?

    • Abstract
    • Attachment theory
    • What are attachment theory's intellectual origins? The integration of psychoanalytic psychology, ethology, and control systems
    • Is attachment theory a “grand theory”? How does it differ from other perspectives?
  • Chapter 2: What Is an Attachment Relationship?

    • Abstract
    • How do attachment relationships develop in infancy?
    • How are attachment-related functions transferred from one person to another?
    • Can people have more than one attachment figure?
    • What kinds of factors facilitate the development of an adult attachment relationship?
    • What happens to parents when new attachment relationships develop? Do they share the stage with new attachment figures? Or are they supplanted?
    • What happens when a relationship ends? Falling off the ladder and continuing bonds
    • Are attachment relationships limited to parents and peers? What other kinds of attachment relationships may exist?
    • Why did attachment bonds evolve in adult romantic relationships?
    • A few cautionary remarks
  • Chapter 3: How Do Individual Differences in Attachment Develop?

    • Abstract
    • How do early attachment experiences shape attachment patterns in infancy and early childhood?
    • What are the consequences of early attachment experiences for social and personality development?
    • Do early attachment experiences have enduring consequences for social and personality development?
    • What gives rise to individual differences in adult attachment patterns?
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: What Are Attachment Working Models?

    • Abstract
    • What are attachment internal working models?
    • Chapter summary
  • Chapter 5:


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2016
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:


"A wonderfully enlightening and concise introduction to theory and research on adult attachment. Gillath, Karantzas, and Fraley have done a superb job synthesizing the voluminous literature into an informative, engaging, and eminently accessible review."
—Harry T. Reis, Ph.D., University of Rochester

"This very interesting, highly engaging book asks and then systematically answers the most important questions that many people have about attachment and close relationships, including their own. It provides a wonderful introduction to this important and vibrant theory and body of scientific findings. It should be on the shelf of anyone who is interested in the science of relationships."
—Jeffry A. Simpson, Ph.D., University of Minnesota

"Written in an open and engaging style, this is an authoritative guide to everything you wanted to know about attachment but were too overwhelmed to ask. It will be the 'go to' primer for everything attachment-related for many years to come…the authors are to be congratulated on an outstanding achievement."
—Julie Fitness, Ph.D., Macquarie University