Adult Attachment nad Stategic Relational Communica Essay

This essay has a total of 2064 words and 11 pages.

adult Attachment nad Stategic Relational Communication





Adult Attachment and Strategic Relational
Communication: Love Schemas and Affinity Seeking

According to attachment theory, the emotional bonds that infants form with their
caregivers serve as the blueprints for the way people view themselves and others and they
affect the way people act in their adult relationships, (Bowlby, 1982). John Bowlby was
one of the first pioneers to advance on the attachment theory perspective. He was greeted
with resistance and skepticism early on. Now, attachment theory concepts are widely known
and accepted in developmental psychology, (West and Sheldon-Keller, 1994).

The article I'm critiquing involves attachment theory, the six love schemas and how they
affect adult relationships. In this paper, I will be looking at those concepts through 4
sections: the literary review, the methods section, the results of the study, and the
discussion section.


LITERARY REVIEW
The main idea of this article, Adult Attachment and Strategic Relational Communication:
Love Schemas and Affinity Seeking, is that attachment theory begins with attachment styles
as an infant. It then begins to play with the idea that attachment theory is based on
people's positive or negative self-esteem. People who are secure are comfortable forming
close and intimate relationships because they have positive beliefs about themselves and
others. Dismissing and fearful types avoid intimate relationships because they have
negative perceptions about themselves and others, (Bachman & Zakahi, 2000).

This conceptual framework is widely used to describe attachment theory and its sub-points.
Those with an attachment theory perspective believe that the attachment system is an
independent behavioral system, equivalent in function to other drive-behavioral systems
such as feeding, mating, and exploration, (Sperling & Berman, 1994). According to West &
Sheldon-Keller, most adults plan their lives on the basis of an anticipated future with a
special other in the expectation of finding security in a permanent relationship. This
places one of the emphases of attachment theory upon the search for security and implies
that not all attachment relationships are secure. Consistent with this, West &
Sheldon-Keller state that adults seek relational proximity to a particular person (just as
children do) which, if found, promotes, enhances, and restores security. In general, the
childhood origins of attachment styles should still be evident to some extent in adults,
because the influence of parents or caregivers exerts itself in most people's lives for
many years, (Bowlby, 1980). In addition to intensity and security, the ease with which an
individual develops attachment relationships appears to be quite important in discussing
the correlation between how people form relationships from the beginning and why they are
formed, (Sperling & Berman).

Past research by Hatfield and Rapson shows that they developed a unified theory of adult
attachment that consists of six attachment styles they labeled love schemas, (Bachman &
Zakahi). They also suggested that love schemas are based on two factors: the extent to
which people are comfortable being emotionally close and their willingness to invest
emotionally in a romantic relationship.

The six schemas are the secure types, the clingy types, the skittish types, the fickle
types, the casual types, and the uninterested. These are the schemas that are learned from
infancy on in accordance with how a person responds to their caregiver.

A lot of the authors researched for these critiques seem to agree with the study done by
Bachman & Zakahi. There is much support for the six love schemas that are being utilized.

When thinking about attachment and loss, this research seems more than relevant, it seems
vital. Adult attachment styles can be linked to loneliness and even depression. In all
reality, studying adult attachment could lead to cures for depression and other such
diseases.


METHOD
According to past research done by Bartholomew and Horowitz, this particular hypothesis
for the attachment theory perspective predicts that people with different love schemas
will communicate in ways that reflect their predisposition towards being comfortable or
uncomfortable with closeness and/or intimacy, (Bachman & Zakahi). The hypothesis seems to
fit well with the conceptual framework because they both relate back to the caregiver. How
the caregiver treats the infant or toddler and how that child responds back is a learned
phenomenon that stays with the person into adulthood.

To elaborate, those scoring high on the secure and clingy attachment scales seem
comfortable with closeness and are eager to be in relationships. Therefore, scores for
secure and clingy types should be positively correlated with the different affinity
seeking strategies. Those scoring high on the skittish, casual and uninterested scales
are generally more comfortable with independence and less interested in relationships.
Therefore, they should be less likely to engage in affinity seeking.

The hypotheses are as follows:
Hypothesis 1: Scores on the secure schema will be positively related to the likelihood of
using affinity-seeking strategies.

Hypothesis 2: Scores on the clingy schema will be positively related to the likelihood of
using affinity-seeking strategies.

Hypothesis 3: Scores on the skittish schema will be negatively related to the likelihood
of using affinity-seeking strategies.

Hypothesis 4: Scores on the casual schema will be negatively related to the likelihood of
using affinity-seeking strategies.

Hypothesis 5: Scores on the uninterested schema will be negatively related to the
likelihood of using affinity-seeking strategies.

While Bachman & Zakahi came up with the 5 hypotheses above, they found it hard to propose
a direst hypothesis for the fickle schema. They came up with a non-directional hypothesis
instead.

Hypothesis 6: The fickle love schema will be related to the likelihood of using affinity-seeking strategies.
This is a reasonable number of hypotheses for the material being studied and these
hypotheses are straightforward and simple to understand.

For each one of these hypotheses, there is no independent variable. It is believed that
there are two dependent variables in each hypothesis: each of the different schemas and
the likelihood of using the affinity-seeking strategies.

Continues for 6 more pages >>