Attachment Security, Mindfulness, Psychotherapy



Previous research shows theoretical and/or empirical support for the relation between attachment security and adaptive functioning, between mindfulness and adaptive functioning, as well as between attachment security and mindfulness. Besides, mindfulness is considered to be theoretically similar to several constructs that has been identified as significant mediators in the relation between attachment security and positive life adaptations (e.g., reflective functioning, affect regulation strategies). According to the participants’ retrospective pre-therapy and current post-therapy selfreport ratings, significant associations were discovered between attachment security and adaptive functioning, between mindfulness and adaptive functioning, as well as between attachment security and mindfulness before and after therapy. Also, the results supported the mediating role of mindfulness in the link between attachment security and adaptive functioning both prior and subsequent to therapy. Limitations of this study, directions for future research, and implications for clinical practice were discussed.

Additionally, nicotine increases regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the left frontal region of the cortex, and decreases rCBF in the left amygdala and the right hemisphere of the cortex (Rose, et al., 2003). Laboratory studies of nicotine (e.g. Garrett & Griffiths, 2001) have shown a dose-dependent positive effect on mood, subjective “high,” and liking for drug, at a rate as high as 3.0 mg per 70 kg of body weight – roughly the equivalent of two cigarettes smoked in succession for an average weight male college student. Thus, nicotine may be considered a stimulant drug in terms of its effects on physiological arousal, although it has a calming effect on the orthogonal construct of mood (Parrott, 1998), Dose effects on activation have been found for nicotine, such that lower doses equivalent to those received from smoking one or two cigarettes, increase reticular activation, but doses higher than those obtained from normal smoking, when administered in the laboratory, decrease reticular activation.

Attachment Theory

Attachment theory is one of the important areas of inquiry that have contributed a great deal to our understanding of normative as well as pathological human development and personality (Lopez, 1995; Lopez & Brennan, 2000). Attachment starts as part of the biologically adaptive system that ensures species survival. Yet, its influences on human life extend far beyond the behavioral and also include the neurological, cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal arenas (Bowlby, 1969/1982, 1973, 1979, 1980, 1988; Siegel, 1999, 2007). Paralleling the overt behavioral interacting patterns in the caregiver-child dyads are children’s covert internal working models (IWMs) of self and others (Bowlby, 1969/1982; Main, Kaplan, & Cassidy, 1985). These IWMs, once formed, often become the relational templates that people utilize, consciously or unconsciously, to navigate their interpersonal worlds across the life span. Though not impossible to change, these IWMs tend to become gradually cemented through repeated confirmatory life experiences and are not easy to modify let alone replace.

Adult Attachment

Bowlby theorized attachment as a vital component of human experience “from the cradle to the grave” (Bowlby, 1969/1982, p. 208) and wrote extensively on the subject of attachment in adulthood (Bowlby, 1969/1982, 1979, 1980, 1988). Ainsworth (1985, 1989) also called for research attention to attachment beyond infancy and across the life span. Nonetheless, it was not until the mid-1980s that research on adult attachment began to flourish and gradually take the center stage in attachment-related research (Simpson & Rholes, 1998). Due to the complexity involved in the theoretical conceptualization and measurement issues of attachment in adults, research on adult attachment has always been laden with challenges and difficulties.

One of the challenges facing adult attachment researchers involves the complexity of multiple attachment relationships in adulthood. Unlike child attachment which is composed mainly of parent-child relationships, adult attachment is the result of the dynamic interplay of diverse significant attachment relationships across the life span, including individuals’ relationships with their parents in childhood, peer relationships in adolescence, romantic relationships in adulthood, and relationships with their own children in adulthood (Ainsworth, 1985, 1989; Shaver & Mikulincer, 2002). While adult attachment studies that focus on any specific attachment relationships seem to miss the holistic picture of what adult attachment constitutes, studies that can capture the complexities involving all of these relationships in adulthood are yet to be designed. Therefore, before deciding on how to assess adult attachment in their studies, researchers need first to deliberate on which adult attachment relationships they plan to assess in their studies.

Reference :

Epstein, M. (1995). Thoughts without a thinker. New York: Basic Books.

Feeney, J. A. (1995). Adult attachment and emotional control. Personal Relationships, 2, 143-159.

Dissertation Done by Yueher Ma, University of Maryland






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