The Attachment System and Physiology in Adulthood: Normative Processes, Individual Differences, and Implications for Health
Article first published online: 27 AUG 2013
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Personality
Special Issue: Personality, Relationships, and Health
Volume 82, Issue 6, pages 515–527, December 2014
How to Cite
Robles, T. F. and Kane, H. S. (2014), The Attachment System and Physiology in Adulthood: Normative Processes, Individual Differences, and Implications for Health. Journal of Personality, 82: 515–527. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12052
- Issue published online: 12 NOV 2014
- Article first published online: 27 AUG 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 25 JUN 2013 06:48AM EST
- UCLA Center
- UCLA Academic Senate. Grant Number: MH015750
- UCLA/NSF IGERT Interdisciplinary Relationship Science Program
Attachment theory provides a conceptual framework for understanding intersections between personality and close relationships in adulthood. Moreover, attachment has implications for stress-related physiology and physical health. We review work on normative processes and individual differences in the attachment behavioral system, as well as their associations with biological mechanisms related to health outcomes. We highlight the need for more basic research on normative processes and physiology and discuss our own research on individual differences in attachment and links with physiology. We then describe a novel perspective on attachment and physiology, wherein stress-related physiological changes may also be viewed as supporting the social-cognitive and emotion regulatory functions of the attachment system through providing additional energy to the brain, which has implications for eating behavior and health. We close by discussing our work on individual differences in attachment and restorative processes, including sleep and skin repair, and by stressing the importance of developing biologically plausible models for describing how attachment may impact chronic illness.