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Management and Organization Theory: A Jossey-Bass Reader by Jeffrey A. Miles

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5

Attachment Theory

Attachment theory examines an individual’s sense of the optimal balance between closeness to and distance from key people in his or her life (Ainsworth, 1967; Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991; Bowlby, 1969, 1973, 1980). The theory attempts to explain the nature of the affective bonds that people make with each other (Smith, Murphy, & Coats, 1999). It assumes that early childhood experiences of attachment to caregivers have long-term effects on social relationships and the stress regulation of adults (Adshead, 2010). Attachment theory is a theory of psychosocial development that was based on animal models, such as that of Lorenz (1935), who examined how baby animals imprint on their mothers. Harlow and others (for example, Suomi, Harlow, ...

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