Attachment: The Fundamental Questions (Hardcover)
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The ongoing growth of attachment research has given rise to new perspectives on classic theoretical questions as well as fruitful new debates. This unique book identifies nine central questions facing the field and invites leading authorities to address them in 46 succinct chapters. Multiple perspectives are presented on what constitutes an attachment relationship, the best ways to measure attachment security, how internal working models operate, the importance of early attachment relationships for later behavior, challenges in cross-cultural research, how attachment-based interventions work, and more. The concluding chapter by the editors delineates points of convergence and divergence among the contributions and distills important implications for future theory and research.
About the Author
Ross A. Thompson, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, where he directs the Social and Emotional Development Lab. Dr. Thompson studies the development of positive social motivation in young children, with a focus on the influence of early relationships. He also writes on the applications of developmental science to practice and policy related to children in poverty, early childhood mental health, and early education. He is an associate editor of Child Development, past president of Zero to Three, and a recipient of the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from Division 7 of the American Psychological Association.
Jeffry A. Simpson, PhD, is Distinguished University Teaching Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Minnesota, where he directs the Doctoral Minor in Interpersonal Relationships. Dr. Simpson’s research interests center on adult attachment processes, trust, human mating, social influence, and how early developmental experiences are related to adult health, relationship functioning, and parenting outcomes. He is a past editor of Personal Relationships and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes, and has served as president of the International Association for Relationship Research.
Lisa J. Berlin, PhD, is Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Dr. Berlin’s multidisciplinary research program cuts across human development, psychology, social work, and public health. Her studies address early child–parent attachment as well as programs and policies for families with young children, including Early Head Start, child care, and home visiting. She is especially interested in the extent to which attachment-based interventions can improve publicly funded programs designed to support early parenting and child development. Dr. Berlin has been a Zero to Three fellow and in 2019 was named among the 100 most influential contemporary social work faculty.
"This book will prove richly rewarding to those already deeply steeped in attachment theory, research, clinical intervention, and even public policy, as well as those new to the subject. It could serve as a primary text for a graduate psychology class. The book comprises brief chapters by developmental, social, biological, and clinical psychologists who both embrace and critique attachment theory and research. It provides deep insight into such fundamental issues as conceptualization and measurement of attachment security across the life course, determinants and consequences of variation in security/insecurity and attachment state of mind, and underlying neurobiology. Classical and cutting-edge research is masterfully reported and evaluated in an effort to move the field in an interdisciplinary lifespan direction. This volume is an intellectual feast--enjoy the meal!"--Jay Belsky, PhD, Robert M. and Natalie Reid Dorn Professor, Program in Human Development, University of California, Davis
"This is a volume of extraordinary importance for our knowledge about attachment relationships in human development, and for the application of that knowledge in systems across the lifespan and across societies. It could not be more timely as an incisive update on attachment research, which over the past decade has expanded and has been increasingly extended into neuroscience and education. Many fields will no doubt benefit from the rich insights provided by these chapters. I have no doubt that this landmark volume will be a standard reference for years to come."--Robert C. Pianta, PhD, Novartis US Foundation Professor of Education and Dean, School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
"This is one of the more important books on attachment theory of the last few decades. Thompson, Simpson, and Berlin have brought together a who’s who of attachment scholars to confront nine fundamental issues. Several innovations make this a standout volume--among them, the mix of senior and emerging scholars, which leads to fresh perspectives on crucial questions, and the focused, concise chapter format. This book will serve to stimulate ideas in those familiar with the field and will be an excellent text for graduate courses on research and theory in developmental psychology."--Megan R. Gunnar, PhD, Regents Professor, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota
"Attachment theory has grown continuously, with increasing relevance for theoretical, clinical, research, and public policy domains. Thompson, Simpson, and Berlin, together with their excellent contributors, have produced a volume of immeasurable significance. Chapters assess where the field of attachment currently stands and consider perspectives for the future. I highly recommend this comprehensive work to educators, researchers, and clinicians interested in early development."--Joy D. Osofsky, PhD, Paul J. Ramsay Endowed Chair of Psychiatry and Barbara Lemann Professor of Child Welfare, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center