The Influence Of Childhood On Adult Relationships – Why This Is Interesting

By the time you read this in your lesson, you will know how Bowlby’s and Ainsworth’s theories have been used to show how childhood experience influences adult relationships. You will also know some evidence about Ainsworth’s attachment types and adult relationships. You will know about how this evidence has been criticised and how different methods have been developed. You will have thought about whether adult relationships are a matter of nature or nurture and you will have thought about the idea of earned security.

There are people in the world of Psychology who are thinking about the influence of childhood on adult relationships in a more sophisticated and practical way than the text book account suggests.

Start by having a look at the work of the Juconi Programme. Their website explains something about who they work with and what they hope to achieve.

Question: What problems does Juconi aim to address? How are these problems connected to the continuity hypothesis and attachment theory? What methods does it use?

Next, find out more about the work of Patricia Crittenden. Here’s a link to her website. Read  about her Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) and click on the diagrams on the bottom left of the page. This link to a powerpoint presentation on the website might help you understand a bit more about her model. Here is a link to a lecture she gave for the British Psychological Society in December 2012. She uses some of the same slides. You can also see this at

Here is a link which explains how she has developed the adult attachment interview which we looked at in class (Main, Caplan, Cassidy (1985)).

Question: How does the Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation build on Bowlby’s and Ainsworth’s theories? How does it use the adult attachment interview?

Finally, watch this interview which Patricia Crittenden gave to a staff member of Juconi. In it, she talks about her theory about the influence of attachment type on later development and relationships and about her work with people experiencing poverty and conflict. This is also linked here:

Questions: What did Patricia Crittenden learn from Bowlby and Ainsworth? How has she developed their theories? What has she learnt about how people deal with danger and conflict?

If you can find an answer to any or all of these questions, please share it by posting a comment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: