We thank Megan Chambers, Margaret English, Jenny Brown, and Bev Turner for their input in preparing this article, and Patricia Crittenden for permission to replicate a modified diagram of her model. We also thank Loy McClean for alerting us to the work of Fritjof Capra, and Steven Pinnington, Malini Sivabalan, and Pam Allum for their help in preparation of the manuscript.
The Network Perspective: An Integration of Attachment and Family Systems Theories*
Article first published online: 6 MAY 2004
Volume 41, Issue 3, pages 285–312, September 2002
How to Cite
Kozlowska, K. and Hanney, L. (2002), The Network Perspective: An Integration of Attachment and Family Systems Theories. Family Process, 41: 285–312. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2002.41303.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAY 2004
- Article first published online: 6 MAY 2004
- Manuscript received March 1, 2001; final revision submitted and accepted January 24, 2002.
In this article we discuss the network paradigm as a useful base from which to integrate attachment and family systems theories. The network perspective refers to the application of general systems theory to living systems, and provides a framework that conceptualizes the dyadic and family systems as simultaneously distinct and interconnected. Network thinking requires that the clinician holds multiple perspectives in mind, considers each system level as both a part and a whole, and shifts the focus of attention between levels as required. Key epistemological issues that have hindered the integration of the theories are discussed. These include inconsistencies within attachment theory itself and confusion surrounding the theoretical conceptualizations of the relationship between attachment and family systems theories. Detailed information about attachment categories is provided using the Dynamic Maturational model. Case vignettes illustrating work with young children and their families explore the clinical implications of integrating attachment data into family therapy practice.