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Besharat MA. (2003) Relation of attachment style with marital conflict. Psychology Rep. 92(3 Pt 2): 1135-40 - A Critical Review.

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Introduction

Besharat MA. (2003) Relation of attachment style with marital conflict. Psychology Rep. 92(3 Pt 2): 1135-40. A Critical Review. Although research on childhood attachment styles has a long history, researchers have only recently begun to explore the associations between adult attachment and psychological and relationship functioning (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). Adult attachment theory has built on the work of Bowlby (1973) and Ainsworth (1978) who focused on the attachment bond between the parent and the child. Hazan and Shaver (1987) constructed a 3-item choice measure designed to allow adult participants to categorize themselves as secure, avoidant or anxious-ambivalent, similar to categories used by Ainsworth to describe young, children's attachment to their mothers. They found that these attachment styles existed in similar proportions in adults as in children in Ainsworth's studies Issues that have been explored by researchers include how attachment style affects partner choice (Frazier et al., 1996), links between attachment, caregiving and relationship functioning (Carnelly, Pietromonaco & Jaffe, 1996). The impact of attachment style on couples' relationships (Gaines et al., 1997; Noller & Feeney, 1994; Feeney, Noller & Callan,1994), and violence in couple relationships (Dutton et al., 1994; Roberts, 1998). Besharat M.A (2003) in his study of attachment style and marital conflict attempts to examine the relationship of attachment and marital conflict. ...read more.

Middle

Scott R.L, Cordova J.V.(2002) Paley BJ, Cox M.J, Harter K.S, Margand N.A.(2002). All these finding's appear to be in harmony with the Bowlby's theory that our early attachment patterns have an effect on our future relationships. At first glance, Bowlby's (1973) attachment theory seems to make perfect sense. It seems only right that our earliest relationships become an important part of our lives, and that the internal working models guide us throughout future relationships. However, even though attachment theory makes good sense, we have to evaluate the empirical evidence used to support it. One of the studies used to support it was by Lorenz (1952), but the question needs to be asked. What can animal studies really tell us about our human bonding behaviors? Also are the tools used by attachment theorists valid? In order to validate the findings of Besharat and others that support it is important that these questions are answered, as the assumptions of Bowlby's theory is really the 'basic premise of attachment theory'. The method used by Besharat is one that has been adopted by many who have carried out research in this field. However the self-report technique has not been accepted so positively by all. ...read more.

Conclusion

Which may be one explanation as to why securely attached couples report less marital conflicts as compared to those that are insecurely attached. Also in a study conducted by Mickelson, Kessler, Shaver (1997), which looked at Adult attachment in a nationally representative sample found that Adult attachment was associated with several socio-demographic variables (e.g., income, age, race), which have not really been previously studied in this context. The study also showed how childhood misfortunes were also strongly related to insecure adult attachment. These findings in some cases may be able to explain increased marital problems, and also aid in helping to provide implications for behavioral approaches in dealing with marital conflict as well as emotionally focused marital therapy. In view of other studies an elaboration of Calamari's (2003) anger proness study may help to clarify the role of insecure attachment in anger management and may help to explain dissociation in late adolescence as a protective response to trauma and emotional distress (Calamari 2003). In relation to Besharat's study even though he is able to accept his hypothesis and has replicated previous findings, nothing new about the relationship has really been mentioned. However his use of attachment theory, which he uses to try and explain the attachment personalities, may benefit therapeutic approaches to depression within the context of marriage and other long-term romantic relationships (Difilippo & Overholser 2002). Rehana Raj. 05/08/07 1 ...read more.

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