In the article by Hazan and Shaver (1990), the writers say that attachment usually accommodates both work and love in the most natural way. The writers also say that functionality is the same as exploration and that adult attachment encourages work activity just as exploration in the same way as infant attachment is encouraged by infant attachment. Furthermore, the article indicates that the balance between engagement and exploration, which is related to early childhood healthy functioning, is the same as love and work balance, which implies healthy adult functioning. How Adult Styles Map up with Infant Attachment Styles
The article by Hazan and Shaver (1990) that analyses adult attachment has described anxious/ambivalent, avoidant, and secure adults styles. The styles map well with the attachment styles in infants because of the relationship between infants and their parents, especially, mothers directly impacts their adult styles (Hazan, 1990). For example, adults who have an attachment that is secure would have a secure adult style. They will be more independent, show a higher emotional intelligence, and would have a healthier connection with other people.
Continuity in Styles
The attachment style that is often formed early in childhood usually continues to shape the behavior of individuals far into their adulthood (Baltes, 2013). However, it is vital to note that the attachment style of adult does not need to entirely reflect the early interactions between children and their caregivers. In some cases, they can undergo a drastic shift from one attachment to another across the lifespan. The drastic shift can mainly result from experiences after infancy such as love.
Experiences after Infancy that Might Alter the Attachment Style
There are various experiences after infancy which can change the attachment style, especially when considering the fact that adult attachment is determined by personal relationships throughout their lives. Some experiences that often alter the attachment style come from romantic partners and peers. They take over the responsibility of being the primary attachment figures, and in the best cases, become the source of confidence, safety, and stability. In the worst cases, they become the cause of mistrust, anxiety, and self-doubt. It means that in nature, the experiences undergone in romantic relationships and friendships can have direct influence in adult attachment just like the way early child and caregiver interaction can shape adult attachment. Experiences such a cataclysmic breakup, constant bullying, and cruelty by a partner can make an individual who as a secure attachment become insecure. It can also make a person with an anxious attachment become avoidant. Experiences such as improved interaction with parents, healthy relationships, and loyal partners and friends can change insecure attachment style to be more secure.
Impact of Attachment
Attachments have a direct impact on the mental health status of people and self-concept (Sigelman, 2014). For example, secure attachment styles make people become more independent, show a higher emotional intelligence, and would have a healthier connection with other people which, in turn, results in a healthier mental status and positively impacts self-concept.
The attachment that is formed early in an individuals childhood often continues into adulthood. However, it is vital to note that the attachment style of an adult can be changed as a result of experiences after infancy such as love, which can, in turn, impact the mental health status of people and their self-concept.
Baltes, P. B., & Schaie, K. W. (2013). Life-Span Developmental Psychology: Personality and Socialization. Burlington: Elsevier Science.
Hazan, C, & Shaver, P, R, (1990). Love and Work An Attachment-Theoretical Perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Vol. 59, No. 2, pp. 270-280.
Sigelman, C. K., & Rider, E. A. (2014). Life-span human development.