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Lecture 19

Lecture 19 - Apr 3.doc

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McGill University
PSYC 333
Jennifer Bartz

PSYC333 Lecture 19 - Apr. 3 Attachment Attachment: • Mental model of self in relation to (significant) others - schema • Attachment models develop in infancy via interactions with caregivers • Bowlby (1944, 1951) maternal separation and delinquency Characteristics of Attachment Relationships: • Maintaining proximity • Staying near & protesting separation • Secure base • Allows exploration • Safe haven • Source of comfort when threatened The Strange Situation: • “Secure” • Caregiver sensitive and responsive to infants signals • Infant seeks comfort upon reunion • “Anxious/ambivalent” • Caregiver inconsistent (not responsive vs over-bearing) • Infant not reassured; preoccupied with availability of caregiver • “Avoidant” • Caregiver rejecting • Infant does not display signs of distress upon separation (but internal discomfort?) • Is a coping mechanism? Mental Models of Attachment: • Formed as a function of repeated interactions with caregiver • Generalized • Reflecting caregiver’s availability and responsiveness to one’s needs • Secure: 62% • Avoidant: 23% • Anxious/ambivalent: 15% Child-Caregiver vs Adult-Adult Attachment Relationships: • Attachment models are interpretative filters through which new relationships are meaningfully understood and construed • “Whilst especially evident during early childhood, attachment behaviour is held to characterize human beings from the cradle to the grave” • Child requires physical contact to feel secure • Adult relationships typically reciprocal • Key: felt-security Hazen & Shaver, 1987 (Adult Romantic Survey): • Which of the following best describes your feelings? • “Love Survey” 620 respondents (415 women; age: 14-82) • • Distribution: • 52% secure • 25% avoidant • 19% anxious/ambivalent Results: Similar distribution in adult relationships style compared to child attachment style • Correlates of Insecure Attachment: • Anxious-ambivalence: • Jealousy • Low self-esteem Indiscriminate self-disclosure • • Procrastination • Avoidance: • Judged by others as more hostile • Uncommitted sexual relations Reduce tension with alcohol and other substances (instead of turning to others) • Attachment Model, Gender & Relationship Stability (Kirkpatrick & Davis, 1994): • 354 dating couples • No anxious-anxious or avoidant-avoidant couples (makes theoretical sense) • If man avoidant, relationship rated as more negative by both partners • If woman anxious, relationship rated as more negative by then men (but not the women) Relationship Stability (Kirkpatrick & Davis, 1994): • Under what circumstances do relationships last? • 7-14 months later • Avoidant and secure men more stable than anxious men • 30-36 months later: • Anxious women more stable than other women • Anxious women and avoidant men remain in negative (but gender stereotypic) relationships • Women are “maintainers and breakers of relationships” • Anxious women more active and accommodating (even though unhappy) • Anxious & secure women will try hard to hold onto avoidant partner Distress and Coping Response (Mikulincer et al, 1993): • Attachment style and adaptation to life stress • 140 Israeli students assessed 2 weeks after Gulf War • Residence area dangerous vs less dangerous • Assessed post-traumatic adjustment to missile attacks • Anxious (vs secures) • More distress • Avoidances (vs secures) • More hostility • More somatization • Attachment effects significant only amongst those living in dangerous ares - stressful conditions trigger the attachment sys- tem (cf. Strange situation) Attachment and Coping: • Secures • Support seeking • Secure base is psychological resource: life adversities, although difficult, are manageable • Anxious/ambivalent • Emotion focused • Avoidant • Distancing • Insecures’ unable to work through trauma and put distress behind them Anxiety & Social Support in the Lab (Simpson, 1992): • 83 dating couples • Waiting room before she begins “anxiety provoking activity” • Secure women seek more support than avoidants • Secure men provide more support than avoidants Physiological Response to Stress (Fennel & Kirkpatrick, 1996): • Dating partner sent to another room • Women perform stress inducing arithmetic task • Measure heart rate and blood pressure • Baseline • On task • Return to baseline • What happens if the dating partner leaves the room? • Woman performs stressful task; dating partner leaves the room • Physiological response • Avoidants & anxious > secures • Anxiety producing effects of separation (cf. Strange
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