The Effects of Attachment Style on Adult Romantic Relationships

4807 Words Sep 1st, 2012 20 Pages
The Effects of Attachment Style on Adult Romantic Relationships

Individual attachment style and its effects on adult romantic relationships were examined. The hypothesis of this literature review was that insecure attachment style would negatively affect the overall dynamic of adult romantic relationships while secure attachment would promote positive and healthy romantic relationships. Empirical studies looking at attachment style and relationship issues such as one’s views of self and others, communication, sexual intimacy, childhood family dynamic and God were evaluated. Reviews of studies were in line with the hypothesis indicating that insecure attachment does negatively affect the overall dynamic of romantic
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Finally, those who are disorganized-disoriented, show very inconsistent, confused behavior to their caregivers.

Adult Attachment Styles
Kim Bartholomew took Bowlby’s theory a step further and proposed four styles of adult attachment based on working models of self and others (Lyddon & Sherry, 2001). These styles were secure, preoccupied, dismissing and fearful. Secure adults feel self worth and expect other people to be trustworthy. Preoccupied adults feel unworthy but feel better about other people. Dismissing adults feel they are worthy but have a negative view of others. And fearfully attached adults tend to feel unworthy and untrusting of others (Lyddon & Sherry, 2001). All of the styles noted except for secure would also fall under the broader category of insecure.
Psychologist Phillip Shaver expanded upon Bowlby’s theory too and stated that the attachments formed in one’s infancy extend to adult romantic relationships (Feldman, 2011). According to Shaver, securely attached adults enter into romantic relationships confidently and happily. They also tend to be supportive and sensitive to their partner’s needs. Those who have avoidant attachment style tend to be less into relationships and feel lonelier. Ambivalent or anxiously attached adults tend to be too invested in their relationships, have low self-esteem, and often are intrusive rather then helpful when
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