THE ORIGINS OF ATTACHMENT THEORY: JOHN BOWLBY AND MARY AINSWORTH
作者: INGE BRETHERTON / 13638次阅读 时间: 2013年11月08日
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CHALLENGING TASKS FOR ATTACHMENT THEORY

In the preceding section, I have outlined the many new directions into which attachment research is branching out. It is difficult to predict which of these efforts will he most fruitful. No doubt, additions, revisions, and challenges to the theory will continue to arise our of future empirical studies. In this final section, however, I would like to focus briefly on some of the theoretical tasks that lie ahead. The idea that human motivation derives from an interplay of familiarityand novelty-seeking systems needs further exploration, as does the notion that the human personality can be conceptualized as a hierarchy of interlinked systems. New theoretical treatmentsof defensive processes in the construction of internal working models of attachment need to he worked out in relation to insights from representational theories and research, and clinical attachment theory requires the development of an experiential language akin to that used by other psychoanalytic theories of interpersonal relatedness, such s Winnicott (1965) and Sullivan (1953). Most important, in my view, is that the development of internal working models of self and other within-attachment relationsshould be studied in conjunction with new approaches to the “dialogic” or “narrative” self, integrating the mental health perspective of attachment theory with the perspective of theorists interested in the social construction of reality (Hermans, Kempen, & van Loon, 1992).

These theoretical developments must go hand in hand or be followed by new methodological developments. Without Mary Ainsworth’s work on patterns of attachment in the Strange Situation and Mary Main’s Adult Attachment Interview that built on them, Bowlby’s theoretical contributions to developmental and clinical psychology would not have had their current influence. I predict that, in the future, attachment theory may provide the underpinnings of a more general theory of personality organization and relationship development. Such a theory would build on, hut also go beyond, Bowlby’s reworking of Freud’s ideas on motivation, emotion, and development.

In formulating the basic tenets of attachment theory, Bowlby’s strategy was, wherever possible, to meticulously test intuitive hunches against available empirical findings and concepts from related domains, thus keeping the theory open to change. In his last work, a biography of Charles Darwin, Bowlby may have been talking about himself when he said of Darwin:

Since causes are never manifest, the only way of proceeding is to propose a plausible theory and then test its explanatory powers against further evidence, and in comparison with the power of rival theories..,. Since most theories prove to be untenable, advancing them is a hazardous business and requires courage, a courage Darwin never lacked. (Bowlby, 1991, p. 412)

Bowlby and Ainsworth, too, did not lack that courage. To explore the full future potential of attachment theory, others will need to exercise similar courage in refining, extending, and challenging it.www.psychspace.com心理学空间网

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