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Evaluating the empirical standing of attachment theory

Mood Disorders Centre Think Tank Seminar Series

A Mood Disorders Centre seminar
Date22 November 2019
Time12:00 to 13:00
PlaceThe Sir Henry Wellcome Building for Mood Disorders research

Our guest speaker is Pasco Fearon of UCL.


Abstract: Attachment theory has been enormously influential in the fields of developmental and clinical psychology, providing powerful concepts for thinking about early experience and its role in human development and risk for psychopathology. Attachment theory proposes a preeminent role for the environment, and claims that early experiences becoming embedded in the individual via psychological structures (Internal Working Models) that are carried forward over time, influencing behaviour, cognition and emotion across the lifespan. It goes even further to claim that individual differences in attachment are transmitted from one generation to the next, which perpetuates an intergenerational cycle of relational vulnerability or resilience. These propositions are critical elements in the logical case for focusing on attachment as a target for prevention and treatment. In this talk I will provide an overview of the current empirical status of these key hypotheses of attachment theory, drawing on recent findings and meta-analytic reviews, and highlight some of the outstanding challenges for the field in the coming years.
OrganizerMood Disorders Centre

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