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Attachment Without Fear


Department of Sociology, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5140 (


John Bowlby hypothesized an attachment system that interacts with caregiving, exploration, and fear systems in the brain, with a particular emphasis on fear. Neurobiological research confirms many of his hypotheses and also raises some new questions. A psychological model based on this neurobiological research is presented here. The model extends conventional attachment theory by describing additional attachment processes independent of fear. In this model, the attachment elements of trust, openness, and depending interact with the caregiving elements of caring, empathy, and responsibility.