aPPlIcatIons of attachment theory and research: The blossoming of relationship science

Mario Mikulincer, Phillip R. Shaver

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Attachment theory has been one of the most useful contemporary conceptual frameworks for understanding emotion regulation, interpersonal behavior, and social functioning. In his exposition of the theory, John Bowlby (1973, 1982) explained why the availability of caring, supportive relationship partners, beginning in infancy, is so important to developing a sense of safety and security. This sense fosters positive mental representations of others, facilitates the development of trust towards others, promotes more harmonious and satisfactory interpersonal interactions and exchanges, and sustains relational well-being. In this chapter, we briefly review basic concepts of attachment theory, focusing on the “broaden and build” cycle of attachment security (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2003), and the growth-enhancing consequences of secure attachments. We then review and assess empirical findings concerning the ways in which attachment theory is being applied in the fields of psychotherapy, education, health and medicine, and leadership and management.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApplications of Social Psychology
Subtitle of host publicationHow Social Psychology Can Contribute to the Solution of Real-World Problems
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781000036619
ISBN (Print)9780367418328
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 selection and editorial matter, Joseph P. Forgas, William D. Crano and Klaus Fiedler; individual chapters, the contributors.


Dive into the research topics of 'aPPlIcatIons of attachment theory and research: The blossoming of relationship science'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this