Families as Contexts for Attachment: Reflections on Theory, Research, and the Role of Family Rituals

Authors

  • Carla Crespo

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Coimbra
      Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Rua do Colégio Novo, Apartado 6153, 3001-802, Coimbra, Portugal (carlacrespo@fpce.uc.pt; carlacrespo@hotmail.com).
    Search for more papers by this author

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Rua do Colégio Novo, Apartado 6153, 3001-802, Coimbra, Portugal (carlacrespo@fpce.uc.pt; carlacrespo@hotmail.com).

Abstract

This commentary draws on Shaver and Mikulincer's (2012) article to discuss key aspects of adult attachment, family theory, and research. First, a reflection is presented on why the historical development of attachment theory calls for a better understanding of the role of the whole-family context. Second, the issue of the cross-fertilization of research traditions related to attachment theory and family systems theory is addressed. Third, a brief overview of research on attachment and family processes is presented. Finally, to illustrate the relationship between attachment and whole-family variables, the particular example of family rituals is discussed. More precisely, a mediational hypothesis is discussed, whereby attachment security is linked to positive outcomes for families via the development of meaningful family rituals.

Ancillary