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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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Twenty-First Century Attachment Theory

Twenty-First Century Attachment Theory

Challenges and Opportunities

(p.301) 12 Twenty-First Century Attachment Theory
The Cultural Nature of Attachment

Ross A. Thompson

The MIT Press

Attachment theory is the focus of considerable contemporary developmental research. Formulated by Bowlby more than fifty years ago, it has been the subject of ongoing critique, particularly in terms of its relevance in non-Western settings. Attachment theorists have modified the theory in response to empirical findings, advances in allied fields, and further ideas. Yet, as evidenced by this Forum, work still remains. This chapter summarizes changes to some of the central areas of attachment theory as well as remaining points of contention: To whom do infants become attached? How should differences in attachment relationships be characterized? What influences lead to differences in attachment relationships? What are the outcomes of differences in attachment? Its intent is to sharpen the ways that culturally informed research can contribute to a better understanding of the attachment process and its consequences. Discussion concludes with broad reflections on attachment and culture.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, sensitivity, security, multiple attachments, internal working models, public policy

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