Attachment Styles and Relationships

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Date Submitted: 09/15/2012 05:15 PM

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Attachment Styles and Relationships

Nichole Zelinsky


September 1, 2012 

An attachment style is a way of describing the type of emotional attachment that exists in two individual’s relationship. Attachment styles are characterized by three main elements, care, commitment and closeness (Bolt, 2004). Our individual attachment style starts to develop at birth. Both nature and nurture are critical to our development of our own attachment style. Nature and nurture are not, however, the only factors that determine our attachment style. Our parents and close caregivers comprise our first relationship partners. Each subsequent relationship contributes to our development in this area.

The development of attachment style through nature and nurture is a simple process. Infants have very specific needs early in their lives. They require mostly love and affection. They receive this from their early caregivers. The attention given by the caregivers constitutes nurture and its quality depends on how each caregiver responds to the infant’s needs. The caregiver’s responses are in turn determined by both their own genetic factors, which they pass along in terms of temperament to their young child. In this way, the infant and the caregiver play reciprocal roles in developing the infant’s attachment style.

Closeness is the first component of attachment styles. This indicates the physical proximity that occurs during the two individual. Physical closeness can create emotional bonds and this is true at all ages. It is a basic human desire to be physically close to those people to whom we are attached. Infants who experience low levels of closeness during their development may assume anxious or avoidant styles of attachment. This can be overcome in some cases through other, more secure relationship experiences.

The second component in development of attachment styles is care. At all ages, humans seek security and safety in their relationships....