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date: 27 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins with Bowlby’s theoretical work in the 1940s and 1950s and the evolution of attachment theory. Ainsworth’s seminal empirical research in the 1960s and 1970s, introducing the concepts of attachment security and caregiver sensitivity, is then discussed. This early theoretical and empirical research on infant attachment is evaluated in light of key findings published in the intervening years. Current views on factors predicting attachment security are presented, focusing on parental state of mind with regard to attachment, the quality of infant–parent interaction, aspects of the social environment, and child-centered factors. The chapter concludes with a summary of important questions on attachment that remain unanswered.

Keywords: attachment security, sensitivity, Adult Attachment Interview, mind-mindedness, transmission gap

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