chapter  Two
12 Pages

Attachment and new beginnings

ByJonathan Pedder

In Balint’s writings on regression and primary object love (1937, 1952, 1968) he frequently speaks of “an instinct to cling”. This comes close to Bowlby’s view (1958, 1969, 1973, 1975) on the instinctual basis of attachment behaviour. Bowlby’s definitive three-volume work (1969, 1973, 1980) crowns a lifetime’s researches into the early and late effects of childhood separation. He has recently summarized this work (Bowlby, 1975). In his reconsideration of instinct theory he argues that attachment behaviour should be “conceived as a class of behaviour that is distinct from feeding behaviour and sexual behaviour and of at least as equal significance in human life”. He considers the most likely function of attachment behaviour is protection, mainly from predators, and therefore crucial to the survival of the species.