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The Cultural Nature of Attachment – Contextualizing Relationships and Development - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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The Cultural Nature of Attachment: Contextualizing Relationships and Development

Heidi Keller and Kim A. Bard


It is generally acknowledged that attachment relationships are important for infants and young children, but there is little clarity on what exactly constitutes such a relationship. Does it occur between two individuals (infant–mother or infant–father) or in an extended network? In the West, monotropic attachment appears to function as a secure foundation for infants, but is this true in other cultures? This volume offers perspectives from a range of disciplines on these questions. Contributors from psychology, biology, anthropology, evolution, social policy, neuroscience, information systems, ... More

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

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780262036900
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262036900.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Heidi Keller, editor
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Kim A. Bard, editor
University of Portsmouth

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1 Introduction

Heidi Keller, Kim A. Bard, and Julia R. Lupp

3 The Evolution of Primate Attachment

Masako Myowa and David L. Butler

4 Primate Infancies

Kristen Hawkes, James S. Chisholm, Lynn A. Fairbanks, Johannes Johow, Elfriede Kalcher-Sommersguter, Katja Liebal, Masako Myowa, Volker Sommer, Bernard Thierry, and Barbara L. Finlay

5 Is the Mother Essential for Attachment?

Heidi Keller and Nandita Chaudhary

6 Taking Culture Seriously

Gilda A. Morelli, Nandita Chaudhary, Alma Gottlieb, Heidi Keller, Marjorie Murray, Naomi Quinn, Mariano Rosabal-Coto, Gabriel Scheidecker, Akira Takada, and Marga Vicedo

7 Exploring the Assumptions of Attachment Theory across Cultures

Cindy H. Liu, Stephen H. Chen, Yvonne Bohr, Leslie Wang, and Ed Tronick

8 Meaning and Methods in the Study and Assessment of Attachment

Suzanne Gaskins, Marjorie Beeghly, Kim A. Bard, Ariane Gernhardt, Cindy H. Liu, Douglas M. Teti, Ross A. Thompson, Thomas S. Weisner, and Relindis D. Yovsi

9 Neural Consequences of Infant Attachment

Margaret A. Sheridan and Kim A. Bard

10 Neural Foundations of Variability in Attachment

Allyson J. Bennett, William D. Hopkins, Ruth Feldman, Valeria Gazzola, Jay Giedd, Michael E. Lamb, Dirk Scheele, Margaret A. Sheridan, Stephen J. Suomi, Akemi Tomoda, and Nim Tottenham

13 Implications for Policy and Practice

Suzanne Gaskins, Marjorie Beeghly, Kim A. Bard, Ariane Gernhardt, Cindy H. Liu, Douglas M. Teti, Ross A. Thompson, Thomas S. Weisner, and Relindis D. Yovsi

14 Real-World Applications of Attachment Theory

Mariano Rosabal-Coto, Naomi Quinn, Heidi Keller, Marga Vicedo, Nandita Chaudhary, Alma Gottlieb, Gabriel Scheidecker, Marjorie Murray, Akira Takada, and Gilda A. Morelli