Science, and by extension society, requires a comprehensive theory of attachment to guide research and practice—one grounded in a contextualized conception of attachments and their development, which encompasses knowledge from diverse disciplines engaged in the study of human development. To improve on the current paradigm, this volume embraces the diversity of attachment systems across cultures and primate species, and assesses the core assumptions and methods of attachment theory. Resultant understanding is used to project an updated version of attachment theory—one that can be applied across cultures. Suggestions for more culturally sensitive research methods are proposed and ideas applicable to current practice and policies discussed. A reconceptualized theory of attachment is presented based on principles that are generalizable, valid, and reliable across diverse primates and diverse human cultures. In addition, the need to make adjustments in attachment philosophy is stressed, and strategies are discussed to communicate and work with researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and other stakeholders.
Keywords: Strüngmann Forum Reports, Attachment theory, strange situation, anthropology, ethnographic studies of childrearing, cultural context of child development, philosophy of attachment, cultural attachment systems, cultural differences in attachment, neural foundations of attachment variability, primatology, evolutionary basis of attachment, caregiving in the early years, attachment networks, caregiving in primates, diversity in attachment behaviors, primate infant care
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