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Lecture 3

Week 3 Notes from Kunce & Shaver (1994) Article

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PSYC 362
Kim Bartholomew

PSYC 362 Week 3 Readings An Attachment-Theoretical Approach to Caregiving in Romantic Relationships By: Kunce and Shaver Adult Romantic Love involves the integration of 3 innate behavioral systems: 1. The attachment system – helps to maintain the proximity to the caregiver 2. The caregiving system – causes caregivers to attend and respond to an attached person’s signals and needs 3. Sexual/reproductive system – encourages and enables reproduction [Ainsworth, 1989] Hypothesis: 1. The caregiving behavioral system is an integral component of adult romantic relationships 2. The adult attachment styles are related systematically to caregiving patterns Summary score of sensitive/responsive care within a marriage was a more accurate predictor of marital strength than any of the following variables: prior respondent personality, prior spouse personality, material circumstances, or family health [Kotler, 1985] When caregiving between adult romantic partners is studied, the focus tends to be on the significance of care-seeking (attachment system) rather than on the experience and implications of providing care and support (caregiving system) [Julien and Markman, 1991] Study focuses on caregiving system – noticing and responding to partner’s needs or distress - Caregiver characteristics and behaviors shown to be significantly associated with infant attachment Functions of caregiving behavior: 1. To meet the dependent partner’s need for security – i.e. staying close, soothing 2. By providing that security, to support the attached person’s autonomy and exploration of the environment Attachment in infants…. Secure attachment - Infants use primary caregivers as a secure base - Express positive affect during interactions with their caregivers - Tend to be soothed relatively easily Avoidant attachment - Exhibit little overt distress when separated from their caregivers - Ignore their caregivers at reunion - Frequently avoid physical contact Anxious/ambivalent attachment - Heightened distress at separation - Co-occurring frustration and anger - Ambivalent or hostile reception of comforting at reunion Disorganized/disoriented attachment - Exhibit confused and confusing patterns of attachment behavior - i.e. high proximity seeking, high avoidance, and high resistance, in rapid succession Patterns of attachment – reflect the nature and quality of the attachment figure’s caregiving - influenced by a number of variables – infant temperament, social-contextual factors, parental caregiving characteristics Infant Attachment Style Secure Anxious/Ambivalent Avoidant Primary caregiver tends to… Primary caregiver tends Primary caregiver tends to… - Be sensitive to infant signals and to… - Be least sensitive to infant communication - Be less sensitive to infant signals - Be generally warm and accepting of signals - Be more rejecting; be child as well as accepting of - Be generally accepting rejecting of attachment attachment behaviors (vs. rejecting) of the behaviors - Be accessible infant - Be less accessible and less - Respond contingently to infant - Be more inconsistent with responsive (more ignoring of signals/needs regard to accessibility and infant signals) - Interact with appropriate timing and responsiveness - Use more controlling than pac
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