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Dicuss the continuity hypothesis

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Discuss research into the Continuity Hypothesis The continuity hypothesis states that the internal working model ensures that early attachments are reflected in later relationship types. Simpson's 2007 longitudinal study using participants who had been studied from infancy until their mid-20's, looked into the continuity hypothesis. He looked at attachment type, social competence in peer groups, quality of behaviours with close friends in detailed interviews, and lastly experiences in adult romantic relationships. He found that secure attachment at age 1 predicted children's competence with peers at age 6, which predicted the next stages too. ...read more.


Studies have shown that adolescents who experienced less physical and verbal conflict tended to show interpersonal behaviours which enhanced the quality of their adult romantic relationships, such as greater use of discussion to resolve discord. This shows that the other factors affect your adult relationship and that attachment type doesn't determine anything. The continuity hypothesis is quite deterministic as it assumes there is a causal link between attachment type and success in relationships. More studies that question the continuity hypothesis are those by Water and Lewis who found some degree of stability in attachment but no strong enough evidence was found for consistency over time. ...read more.


Also it is subject to demand characteristics and participants may give socially desirable answers. In contrast the approach can be useful as it generates large amounts of data where generalisations can be made. Something that the continuity hypothesis doesn't take into account is how our behaviour varies with different people. Wood, Littleton and Oates argue that we need to distinguish between relatedness and relationships which results from the interplay between two people's attachment styles. So, for example, whilst an insecure person may be generally lacking in trust in adult relationships, they may act very differently when they are with a secure, trusting and trustworthy partner rather than with an insecure partner. ...read more.

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