Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
George, C. 2010. Attachment Theory. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–4.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Attachment theory defines an evolutionary-based relationship between a child and a parent figure. Attachment is a biologically based behavioral system that evolved in ways that influence and organize human motivational, emotional, and cognitive and memory processes. The relationship is conceived to develop initially in infancy and contribute to development, other relationships, risk, and mental health throughout the life span (Bowlby, 1969/1982, 1973, 1980; Cassidy & Shaver, 2008). Attachment has become a shorthand term that connotes a complex set of interrelated patterns of behavior and thinking directed toward a parent figure that is wiser, protective, and caring.