Academic journal article Contemporary Nurse : a Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession

Transgenerational Attachment in Manisa, Turkey

Academic journal article Contemporary Nurse : a Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession

Transgenerational Attachment in Manisa, Turkey

Article excerpt

The theory of attachment is an approach which explains the tendency of people to develop strong emotional ties with people they care about (Caye, Cooke, McMahon, & Karen, 1992; Olds, London, & Ladewig, 1984). Bowlby defines attachment as the development of a satisfactory and pleasing emotional bond between the child and the mother figure in the early years of childhood. Crying, sucking, smiling and clinging are stated to be behaviors of attachment. These behaviors start the interaction of attachment between the mother and the child (Littleton & Engebretson, 2002; Mercer & Ferketich, 1994).

According to the theory of attachment, a baby's incapability of developing a reliable relationship of attachment with one or more persons decreases the ability of developing close relationships in the future and in adulthood (Feeney, 1999).

Attachment is established by observing the present ties and experiences within large families. The quality of attachment learnt in the family forms a model for future attachments (Lieberman, 1979). Bowlby (1953) argues that the experiences a child encounters with caregivers in infanthood structure its internal working models and that the lifelong sustainability of attachment patterns is provided by the mental representations gained in the first years of life.

In recent years, it has been argued that the three styles of attachment put forward for childhood could be valid for adulthood as well (Gallo, Smith, & Ruiz, 2003). Based on the attachment principles of Bowlby, three forms of attachment were developed as a result of studies conducted on the process of attachment in children and emotional relationships; secure, anxious-ambivalent and avoidant (Bowlby, 1953; Tutarel, 2006).

Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991) expanded this typology beyond this three-category model of attachment and developed a new model titled the Four-Category Model of Attachment, which included the attachment styles of secure, preoccupied, fearful and dismissing (Backstrom, & Holmes, 2001). The transmission of attachment from grandparents to parents and then to children might involve social and genetic influence. Social influence involves the direct influence of grandparent to grandchild or an indirect influence of the grandparent to parent by means of social support and social learning. On the other hand, genetic influence defines the biological transmission through genes (Sabatier & Lannegrand-Willems, 2005).

In a study conducted by Donnellan, Burt, Levendosky, and Klump (2008), the best fitting univariate behavioral genetic models indicated that 45% of the variance in attachment-related anxiety and 39% of the variance in attachmentrelated avoidance was heritable. The view is that discrepancies are common during the initial stages of scientific inquiry and point to the need for additional research (Donnellan et al., 2008). Crawford et al. (2007) found that the majority of the association between anxiety and dimensions of personality disorders characterizing emotional dysregulation was genetically mediated, a finding quite consistent with our results for neuroticism and anxiety. Thus, there is an impressive degree of consistency across the two studies in terms of the attachment-related anxiety findings. This finding of substantial non-shared environmental effects on adult attachment raises questions as to the specific nature of the non-shared influences.

Within this context, an analysis of the family tree shows the similarity within a family to be most noticeable. The similarity among family members causes similarity of experience and characteristics (Lieberman, 1979). Attachment theorists developed a new perspective for studies on attachment theory by proving the fact that there is a similarity between attachment forms in childhood and adulthood by conducting several studies (Svanberg, 1989). A study conducted by Kroonenberg, Van Dam, Van Ijzendoorn, and Mooijaart (1997) showed that the probability of having children with secure attachment was three or four times higher in adults with secure attachment. …

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