Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rebecca M. Bolen
Attachment is a biologically based system of behavior that exists between the attachment figure (usually the parent) and child. The primary functions of attachment behaviors are to protect the young and to maintain their survival. Attachment theory grew out of the work of John Bowlby (1907–1991) and Mary Ainsworth (1913–1999). This theory has become an essential framework for understanding relationships. It also holds great promise for contributing to our understanding of delinquent and criminal behaviors. John Bowlby graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1928, having received a rigorous base in scientific training and an introduction to the emerging field of developmental psychology. Immediately following, he did volunteer work at a school that housed maladjusted children. Based on that experience, Bowlby went to medical school to become a child psychiatrist and later trained as a psychoanalyst. After World War II, Bowlby was commissioned by the World Health Organization to write ...