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. 1992 Oct;59(2):239-47.
doi: 10.1207/s15327752jpa5902_2.

Classification of Adult Attachment: An Integrative Taxonomy From Attachment and Psychoanalytic Theories

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Classification of Adult Attachment: An Integrative Taxonomy From Attachment and Psychoanalytic Theories

M B Sperling et al. J Pers Assess. .

Abstract

Developmental and psychoanalytic theorists have focused increasingly on empirically determined early childhood antecedents of adult attachments, with several resulting taxonomic models. This article suggests a theoretically based and clinically based model of attachment consistent with both psychoanalytic and attachment theories, resulting in an integrative taxonomy of four adult attachment styles: dependent, avoidant, hostile, and resistant-ambivalent. These styles reflect behavioral manifestations of dependence and anger, as derived from the interaction of primitive relational drives, defenses, and interpersonal experience. In addition to theoretical construction, brief clinical examples are presented to facilitate discussion of the model.

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