Attachment and Bonding

A New Synthesis

Attachment and bonding are evolved processes; the mechanisms that permit the development of selective social bonds are assumed to be very ancient, based on neural circuitry rooted deep in mammalian evolution, but the nature and timing of these processes and their ultimate and proximate causes are only beginning to be understood. In this Dahlem Workshop Report, scientists from different disciplines—including anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, and behavioral biology—come together to explore the concepts of attachment and bonding from diverse perspectives. In their studies they seek to understand the causes or the consequences of attachment and bonding in general and their different qualities in individual development in particular. They address such questions as biobehavioral processes in attachment and bonding; early social attachment and its influences on later patterns of behavior; bonding later in life; and adaptive and maladaptive (or pathological) outcomes. The studies confirm that social bonds have consequences for virtually all aspects of behavior and may be protective in the face of both physical and emotional challenges.

Table of Contents

  1. The Dahlem Workshops
  2. List of Participants
  3. 1. Introduction

    C. S. Carter, L. Ahnert, K. E. Grossmann, S. B. Hrdy, M. E. Lamb, S. W. Porges, and N. Sachser

  4. 2. Evolutionary Context of Human Development: The Cooperative Breeding Model

    S. B. Hrdy

  5. 3. The Role of Social Engagement in Attachment and Bonding: A Phylogenetic Perspective

    S. W. Porges

  6. 4. "Stepping Away from the Mirror: Pride and Shame in Adventures of Companionship" — Reflections on the Nature and Emotional Needs of Infant Intersubjectivity

    C. Trevarthen

  7. 5. Biological Perspectives on Social Attachment and Bonding

    C. S. Carter

  8. 6. Neurobiological and Molecular Approaches to Attachment and Bonding

    E. B. Keverne

  9. 7. Adult Social Bonding:Insights from Studies in Nonhuman Mammals

    N. Sachser

  10. 8. Plasticity of Innate Behavior: Experiences throughout Life Affect Maternal Behavior and Its Neurobiology

    A. S. Fleming

  11. 9. The Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology of Intergenerational Transmission of Attachment

    J. Belsky

  12. 10. Universality of Human Social Attachment as an Adaptive Process

    K. E. Grossmann and K. Grossmann

  13. 11. Parenting and Alloparenting: The Impact on Attachment in Humans

    L. Ahnert

  14. 12. Attachment and Stress in Early Development: Does Attachment Add to the Potency of Social Regulators of Infant Stress?

    M. R. Gunnar

  15. 13. Attachment Disturbances Associated with Early Severe Deprivation

    T. G. O'Connor

  16. 14. Disorganization of Behavioral and Attentional Strategies toward Primary Attachment Figures: From Biologic to Dialogic Processes

    K. H. Hennighausen and K. Lyons-Ruth

  17. 15. Group Report:Biobehavioral Processes in Attachment and Bonding

    J. F. Leckman, Rapporteur C. S. Carter, M. B. Hennessy, S. B. Hrdy, E. B. Keverne, G. Klann-Delius, C. Schradin, D. Todt, and D. von Holst

  18. 16. Group Report: Early Social Attachment and Its Consequences: The Dynamics of a Developing Relationship

    R. A. Thompson, Rapporteur K. Braun, K. E. Grossmann, M. R. Gunnar, M. Heinrichs, H. Keller, T. G. O'Connor, G. Spangler, E. Voland, and S. Wang

  19. 17. Group Report: Beyond Infant Attachment: The Origins of Bonding in Later Life

    C. A. Pedersen, Rapporteur L. Ahnert, G. Anzenberger, J. Belsky, P. Draper, A. S. Fleming, K. Grossmann, N. Sachser, S. Sommer, D. P. Tietze, and L. J. Young

  20. 18. Group Report: Adaptive and Maladaptive Outcomes

    G. W. Kraemer, Rapporteur M. E. Lamb, G. A. Liotti, K. Lyons-Ruth, G. Meinlschmidt, A. Schlmerich, M. Steele, and C. Trevarthen

  21. Name Index
  22. Subject Index