Attachment Theory

Attachment Theory

Bowlby’s Attachment emphasizes the nature of the parent-adolescent relationship early on in the critical stages of development. The emphasis is not just in terms of the adolescent’s capabilities and stages, conflicts related to the drives or the child’s fantasy life, but the ability of the parent(s) to provide a source of secure attachment, from which all other optimal development hinges upon (Zeifman, 2018). Tiffany’s case can be significantly applied in this theory. The attachment between Tiffany and her mother is complicated. The lack of love and affection led to Tiffany finding it hard to connect with her caregiver. Adolescents tend to develop unhealthy relationships if they do not get a secure and safe environment while growing up.

According to Zeifman (2018), for children to develop healthy attachments with others, they need adequate love, security, and nurture from people around them.  Tiffany was abused by one of her family members and her parents continuously ignored her feelings. There was also no bond between Tiffany and her parents and her home was not safe anymore. Tiffany was finally offered protection and safety by Donald. However, this was not a healthy attachment but a response to Tiffany’s lack of attachment at home. Everything relational revolves around feelings of security and safety. There can be no enduring love without these things.

There are four types of attachments arising between caregivers and adolescents. In the case of Tiffany, an avoidant attachment was evident. Avoidant attachment stems from early childhood and in most cases, it happens when there is some breakdown in the bonding process between child and parent (Worsley et al., 2018). Therefore, with any of the attachment’s steps unfulfilled, it carries on into adulthood making it hard for individuals to properly bond with others emotionally. Among adolescents, avoidant attachment occurs when they cannot feel some sense of security with their caregivers. Tiffany’s parents were unresponsive, emotionally unavailable, and rejecting. This led to Tiffany pushing down her emotions and disassociating herself from her parents. When Donald offered her the security and love that her parents could not provide, she became attached to him. However, Donald could not provide her with true love since he felt that Tiffany was not attached to her mother and only bonded with him because of the attention and love that he offered. Tiffany neither wants to interact nor get attached to other people except Donald. These are some major signs of avoidant attachment.


















Zeifman, D. M. (2019). Attachment theory grows up: A developmental approach to pair bonds. Current opinion in psychology25, 139-143.

Worsley, J. D., McIntyre, J. C., Bentall, R. P., & Corcoran, R. (2018). Childhood maltreatment and problematic social media use The role of attachment and depression. Psychiatry Research267, 88-93.








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