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The Cultural Nature of AttachmentContextualizing Relationships and Development$
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Heidi Keller and Kim A. Bard

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036900

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036900.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 24 October 2019

The Strange Situation of the Ethological Theory of Attachment

The Strange Situation of the Ethological Theory of Attachment

A Historical Perspective

Chapter:
(p.13) 2 The Strange Situation of the Ethological Theory of Attachment
Source:
The Cultural Nature of Attachment
Author(s):

Marga Vicedo

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262036900.003.0002

This chapter examines the history of some challenges to John Bowlby’s and Mary Ainsworth’s ethological attachment theory (EAT). Bowlby and Ainsworth argued that the mother-infant relationship is a natural dyad designed by evolution in which the instinctual responses of one party activate instinctual responses in the other, and that secure attachment is an adaptation. This chapter focuses on EAT’s two fundamental tenets: the universality of attachment patterns and the biological foundations of the attachment system. It shows that several scholars have challenged those tenets over the years and argues that attachment researchers have not addressed those challenges successfully.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Margaret Mead, Ethological Attachment Theory, child rearing, Strange Situation, Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness (EEA)

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