chapter  4
13 Pages

Some contributions of attachment theory and research

ByJULIET HOPKINS, GAIL PHILLIPS

Attachment theory developed from the pioneering work of John Bowlby (1907±1990), a British child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. At a time when many psychoanalysts were focusing their attention on the role of internal factors, such as instinct and fantasy, in the development of psychopathology, Bowlby turned his attention to the role of external factorswhichhebelieved to be of more signi®cance. He intended, following Freud, that psychoanalysis shouldbe respected,notonly as amethodofpsychotherapy,but as a reputable science, `the science of unconscious mental processes' (Freud 1925: 70). Since scienti®c research begins with observation, Bowlby decided to study the responsesofyoungchildren toseparationandbereavement, for thesecouldbe accurately observed and were thought likely to be of pathogenic signi®cance.