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Attachment Style Literature Review Q & A

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Introduction: A Critical Evaluation of Attachment Theory and Its Stability Across the Lifespan

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Questions: “Critically evaluate the research investigating the stability of attachment style over the lifespan and comment on the implications of this research for attachment theory.”

The life of people goes through various psychological changes which keep changing on every phase of life. Every phase of childhood from infancy to old age is equally important. It adopts various theories throughout life to smoothen life. People go through various emotional moments and they had to deal with those emotions. These things need the adoption of theories that would help them to face all sorts of situations in their whole life. The Attachment theory states about the patterns that people endure throughout their life which help to predict the developments and other changes that would come in the life of the people.

Overview of study

The Attachment theory is concerned with the emotional bonds between people of every age group. This theory is useful in finding out the attachment between people from childhood and it is also found in people during adulthood and other phases of life. It maintains four stages to identify the attachment (Laschinger, 2018). The stages of this follow the pattern which is; secure, avoidant, ambivalent and disorganised. The patterns state that these stages help to determine the psychology of every people.

This theory has various impacts on the life of people and it puts implications on the life of the people at every stage. The research of this theory states that every child has cared in a different way. The quality of care they get in their childhood determines their functioning in future (Capaldo & Perrella, 2018). This also influences their behaviour in adulthood and leads every people to bring different behaviour with every people which may include relatives and other people. The research about this faced various difficulties and those led to getting no relevant data from the people. The research is based on the findings of the theory, its implications and its impact on every people. This states that there are different behaviours found when a person deals with known people in comparison to the outsiders.

Literature review

British psychologist John Bowlby invents the attachment theory. This theory mainly affects children. From 6 months to adultery, there is a drastic change in every human being. The attachment theory is basically based on behavioural theory. Some of the earliest behavioural theories said that attachment was learned by the surrounding's behaviour. Attachment is an emotional bond that creates a place in their own mind. After six months every child made an attachment to survive in the environment. This theory also shows many types of characterises behave differently in one situation. The attachment creates when the person observes and feels the need for the environment. This literature review will help to understand the developing period of the lifespan is related to the attachment theory.

On the other side of this study, this attachment theory is basically based on four stages. 1. Pre-attachment stage, in this stage infants do not show any particular attachment for any individuals. This covers the lifespan from birth to 3 months. In this part, every encouraging behaviour attracts the baby and reacts in anybody's response (Granqvist, 2021). The second stage of this attachment is the discriminate attachment. In this part of the attachment, the lifespan is between 6 weeks to 7 months. In this part, every infant begins to show preferences for their primary and secondary caregiver. When the infants accept other sources’ care they infant would start distinguishing between familiar and unfamiliar responses. The third stage of the attachment theory is, discriminate attachment. This kind of attachment happens between 7 months to 11 months. At this time the infants show a strong attachment. In this segment, the infants will protest if they are separated from their primary attachment figure and begin to show anxiety around the stranger. The last and final stage of this attachment theory is multiple attachments. This time will come after 9 months of the age of that infant. In this part, the infants are creating their own attachments. The infant is not only attached to the only primary attachment they also made new attachments like older siblings, grandparents, and second parents.

Attachment theory says attachment was formed from the very beginning of the age. In the age of infancy, all attachments are made, and day by day the attachment to their primary and secondary figure will develop. From infancy to adultery, in this lifespan, there are many changes that happened because of different circumstances. Every individual person had different types of characterise and based on that their response is also very different about their attachments.

This attachment theory is not acceptable from every perspective. This drawback has in this theory. The genetic other parts are also responsible for this attachment theory. Bowly’s theory is not mentioned the genetic part in his theory. That is why this theory is not applicable to every infancy.


The aim of this study is to investigate and evaluate the stability of attachment style over the lifespan. The aim of this study shows the value of attachment theory. In the psychology stream, it is a very important practice to know, from after infancy to adultery age what changes happen in that life span (Stern et al. 2022). The aim and the objectives are very clear in this study, it has to clarify all the investigations of this topic.


  • To find the key point of attachment theory
  • To discuss the challenges of attachment theories
  • To evaluate the connection between attachment style and lifespan
  • To discuss the stability of attachment theory


The psychological factors vary from person to person, hence to find out the stability of attachment style in every person and its implications it urges for the collection of data. The collection of data will include secondary sources of data collection (Granqvist, P., 2021). This will focus on both qualitative and quantitative data.

Qualitative data: the qualitative source of data includes different case studies, documents, transcriptions and many other things. These sources helped to collect information about this theory. These sources are studied to find out about the functioning of this theory.

Quantitative data: This includes the sources which provide numerical data. These helped to get the numerical values related to the impact of the theory. This is effective to get the numerical data regarding the uses, effects and implications of this theory.

The methods of collection of data regarding this theory show that the theory has different impacts on every people. These secondary methods of data collection brought forward their relative impact on the psychology of people (Slade & Holmes, 2019). Its effect on the lifespan of different people will also be found. Hence, it provided the data that were collected by others and its uses and implications are found based on those data.


This research states that the attachment theory has a relevant impact on the life of people. It is different from person to person which states that it has a different impact on every people. It has no stability as every people is nurtured in a different atmosphere and they have got separate affections in their childhood (Granqvist, P., 2021). It varies for every person hence, it has the scope of getting different sorts of implications and effects. This will help to know the different behaviours of the people. It would also give chance to get information about its stability. This would help to gain knowledge about the changes in a person’s lifespan.


In this project, there is no primary sources are collected. All sources are collected from websites, journals, and books. These sources are not very clear in this study (Duschinsky, Greco & Solomon, 2015). Collecting the primary resources will be more effective for this study if this study includes surveys and interviews then it would be more relatable for the people and this study.

The project analysis says about attachment theories and their impact on life, but it is generally found that every people has a different style and behavior. The bringing up of every people are different as they get different cares and concern in their childhood. Thus, it is hard to determine the psychological changes of every people by studying a few. 

Relevance of the research questions

This study will be started to evaluate the attachment theory. It is also included the relationship between life span and attachment ability. Before starting this project it must be clear what is the main thing to find in this study. Knowing the main finding from this study would help to research this study (Klass, 2021). These questions will help to research the study and help also in the findings of this study.

Q 1. What are the key points of attachment theory?

Q 2. What are the challenges of attachment theories?

Q 3. What is the connection between attachment style and lifespan?

Q 4. Discuss the stability of attachment theory.


The attachment theory is used in different ways in infancy and is based on the nurturing procedure of the child. This has a significant impact on the life of people but it varies from person to person. It is based on the secondary method of data collection; hence it gives the result of others’ findings that lacks present data. The impacts of this vary from person to person hence, it does not avail with a stable result of its impact. The implementation of this theory has to face various challenges. It discussed the relation of this theory with the lifespan and showed insatiable relations between them. 



  • Capaldo, M. & Perrella, R., (2018). Child maltreatment: an attachment theory perspective. Mediterranean Journal of Clinical Psychology, 6(1). Retrieved from:
  • Duschinsky, R., Greco, M., & Solomon, J. (2015). The Politics of Attachment: Lines of Flight with Bowlby, Deleuze and Guattari. Theory Cult Soc, 32(7-8), 173-195.
  • Granqvist, P. (2021). Attachment, culture, and gene-culture co-evolution: expanding the evolutionary toolbox of attachment theory. Attachment & Human Development, 23(1), 90-113. Retrieved from:
  • Granqvist, P., (2021). Attachment, culture, and gene-culture co-evolution: expanding the evolutionary toolbox of attachment theory. Attachment & Human Development, 23(1), (pp.90-113). Retrieved from:
  • Klass, D. (2021). Fortgesetzte Bindungen in existentiellen und phänomenologischen Untersuchungen von Trauer: grundlegende Betrachtungen. Retrieved from:
  • Laschinger, B. (2018). Attachment theory and the John Bowlby Memorial Lecture: A short history. In Unmasking Race, Culture, and Attachment in the Psychoanalytic Space (pp. 5-9). Routledge. Retrieved from:
  • Opie, J. E., McIntosh, J. E., Esler, T. B., Duschinsky, R., George, C., Schore, A., Kothe, E. J., Tan, E. S., Greenwood, C. J., & Olsson, C. A. (2021). Early childhood attachment stability and change: a meta-analysis. Attachment & human development, 23(6), 897–930.
  • Slade, A., & Holmes, J. (2019). Attachment and psychotherapy. Current opinion in psychology, 25, 152-156. Retrieved from:
  • Stern, J. A., Barbarin, O., & Cassidy, J. (2022). Working toward anti-racist perspectives in attachment theory, research, and practice. Attachment & Human Development, 24(3), 392-422. Retrieved from:
  • Williamson, S., & McGrath, J. M. (2019). What Are the Effects of the Maternal Voice on Preterm Infants in the NICU?. Advances in neonatal care : official journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, 19(4), 294–310.
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