Adult Attachment Models

Adult attachment models attempt to explain differing types of attachment in adults and are heavily based upon adult perceptions of childhood experiences with parents. Adults are classified into four different types of attachment style after answering questions about their childhood attachments and their relationship with their parents.

Only the autonomous attachment style can be described as a secure attachment and is characterized by adults who describe their childhood in a balanced manner highlighting both positive and negative memories of their parents. They describe their past in a consistent manner and typically their early attachments are influential in their development.

The other three attachment styles are characterized by behaviors that can be described as insecure. Adults with dismissing attachment styles often claim to not remember relevant interactions with their parents and are often inconsistent with their descriptions of their parents (such as describing their mother as caring and then later describing her as not paying enough attention to them).

Another style is preoccupied attachment which is characterized by an over attention to their parents and confusion or aggression about past interactions with their parents. These adults appear to be so focused on their childhood memories that it is difficult for them to describe them in detail.

The final attachment style is unresolved or disorganized with adults who appear to still be suffering from past abuses or traumatic events. When recalling childhood events they may not be rational with some adults believing a dead parent is still alive or other delusional ideas.

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