Sociology Index


Attachment is the degree to which an individual has affective ties to other persons. In Travis Hirschi's work, aspects of the social bond. Hirschi's social control theory proposes that delinquents fail to form or maintain a bond to society consisting of attachment, commitment and involvement. Attachment theory explains how and in what way the parents' relationship with the child influences development.

Attachment Cognitions Predict Perceived and Enacted Social Support during Late Adolescence - David S. Herzberg, Constance Hammen, Dorli Burge, Shannon E. Daley, Joanne Davila, Nangel Lindberg, University of California–Los Angeles - This study examined the relationship between attachment cognitions and social support in a community sample of late-adolescent women.

Participants were 129 women recruited as seniors from three Los Angeles high schools to take part in a 5-year longitudinal study of adolescent development. As predicted, attachment cognitions representing greater security in close relationships were found to be associated with higher levels of perceived and enacted social support.

The study also found that differences between subjects reporting secure and insecure attachment cognitions were primarily in the domain of enacted emotional support, as opposed to two other types of enacted support, information and material aid. These findings are consistent with a basic principle of attachment theory: that internalized representations of attachment relationships continue to influence interpersonal functioning during adolescent and adult development.

Attachment and Perceived Social Support in Late Adolescence 
The Interaction Between Working Models of Self and Others 
Michelle D. Blain, Janny M. Thompson, Valerie E. Whiffen, University of Ottawa 
Research has shown that self-perceptions are associated with perceived social support. Attachment theory suggests that perceptions of social support are afunction of two types of internal working models: model of self (beliefs about self-worth) and model of others (beliefs about the availability and responsiveness of others). This study investigated the relationship between models of self and others and perceived social support. Undergraduates (143 females, 73 males) completed questionnaires assessing attachment to parents andfriends and perceived social support. Analyses confirmed that individuals reporting positive models of both self and others (secure attachment) also reported the highest levels of perceived social supportfrom parents andfriends and attachment tofriends. A negative model of self or other (insecure attachment) had a negative impact on perceived social support and attachment to friends. A negative model of self had a particularly negative impact on attachment to friends for males.

Sources of Social Support and Attachment Styles among Israeli Arab Students 
Adital Ben-Ari, School of Social Work, University of Haifa, Israel.
This study identifies patterns of utilization of social support among Israeli Arab students.The sample consisted of 64 Arab students. Findings show that Arab students distinguish between emotional and instrumental support and allocate sources of support accordingly. Emotional support is sought within the social network and instrumental support is sought within the family.

Social Engagement and Attachment - A Phylogenetic Perspective 
STEPHEN W. PORGES, University of Illinois at Chicago
This article focuses on the importance of social engagement and the behavioral and neurophysiological mechanisms that allow individuals to reduce psychological and physical distance. A model of social engagement derived from the Polyvagal Theory is presented. The model emphasizes phylogeny as an organizing principle and includes the following points: (1) there are well-defined neural circuits to support social engagement behaviors and the defensive strategies of fight, flight, and freeze; (2) these neural circuits form a phylogenetically organized hierarchy; (3) without being dependent on conscious awareness, the nervous system evaluates risk in the environment and regulates the expression of adaptive behavior to match the neuroception of a safe, dangerous, or life-threatening environment; (4) social engagement behaviors and the benefits of the physiological states associated with social support require a neuroception of safety; (5) social behaviors associated with nursing, reproduction, and the formation of strong pair bonds require immobilization without fear; and (6) immobilization without fear is mediated by a co-opting of the neural circuit regulating defensive freezing behaviors through the involvement of oxytocin, a neuropeptide in mammals involved in the formation of social bonds.

Adult Attachment Styles, Perceived Social Support and Coping Strategies 
Todd C. Ognibene, Nancy L. Collins, State University of New York at Buffalo
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Vol. 15, No. 3, 323-345 (1998)
The relations between adult attachment styles, perceived social support and the use of various coping strategies was examined in a sample of young adults (N = 81). Participants completed measures of adult attachment style, perceived social support from friends and family, and a modified version of the Ways of Coping scale. In addition, participants rated the coping strategies they would most likely use in response to a series of hypothetical vignettes describing social- and achievement-related stressors. Results indicated that secure individuals perceived more available support from friends and family, and sought more social support in response to stress. Although preoccupied adults also sought social support in response to stress, they also tended to use escape/avoidance strategies. Dismissing and fearful individuals were much less likely to seek social support, and were more likely to distance themselves in some contexts.

The Relation of Maternal Directiveness and Child Attachment Security to Social Competence in Preschoolers - Linda Rose-Krasnor, Brock University, Canada, Kenneth H. Rubin, Robert Coplan, University of Waterloo, Canada, Cathryn L. Booth, University of Washington, USA,  International Journal of Behavioral Development, Vol. 19, No. 2, (1996)
The primary focus of this study was the assessment of children's social competence in relation to two aspects of the mother-child relationship attachment security and maternal directiveness. Specifically, we expected concurrent child-mother attachment security to be positively correlated with children's positive social engagement and social problem-solving skills and negatively related to aggression, whereas maternal directiveness was predicted to show the opposite pattern of correlations. Subjects were 111 mothers and their 4-year-old target children, each paired with a same-sex, same-age unfamiliar control child. Maternal directiveness was assessed in co-operative task and free-play sessions involving the target child, target mother, and control child. The target child's social engagement and social problem-solving skills were measured during dyadic free play with the control child. Multiple regression analyses assessed relative contributions of maternal directiveness and attachment security to the prediction of child behaviour with the peer. Attachment security predicted positive social engagement. Maternal directiveness was associated only with aspects of the children's social problem-solving. These results support previous research linking child-mother attachment security, maternal control patterns and children's social competence, although our findings showed the importance of separating the influences of attachment quality and the socialisation aspects of parenting.