Date: August 2005
Creator: Cohen, Diane L.
Description: The process by which earned-secures achieve attachment security in adulthood, despite having insecure parent-child relationships in childhood, was the focus of the current study. As internal working models are thought to be formed within relationships, specifically primary attachment bonds (Bowlby, 1969), it was postulated that secondary attachment relationships, specifically those that were positive, had the capacity to revise insecure models of self and other. In the current study, the secondary attachment histories of undergraduates who were earned-secure and continuously-insecure, or insecurely attached since childhood, were compared. A new measure of secondary attachment quality was developed (Questionnaire About Secondary Attachment Figures (Q-SAF)), which was used to measure undergraduates' perceptions of their past and current secondary attachment figures. Findings indicated that in comparison to continuous-insecures, earned-secures perceived their negative secondary attachment figures in adolescence as less mean. Earned-secures also reported being less dependent upon these figures' approval of them for their self-worth and more secure within these relationships. In adulthood, earned-secures reported more trust and intimacy with their positive secondary attachment figures. Compared to continuous-insecures, earned-secures described their peers as being more empathic and altruistic during childhood and more warm during adolescence; earned-secures also reported less dependency and greater closeness with their ...
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