|individuals with histories of secure attachment would seem highly unlikely, regardless of degree of psychopathology. The first critical prospective studies through the adolescent period will be completed in the next decade.|
Bowlby's claims concerning the central role of primary attachment relationships for certain core aspects of development have received strong support. In particular, the literature is congruent with Bowlby's idea that from primary relationships the child forges working models of self and other and that these models, although subject to change, exert an active influence on the child's ongoing transactions with the environment. Later experience does not wash over the child, but rather occurs in the context of preceding development.
It is on this basis that it is reasonable to expect some degree of continuity from the early years to middle childhood, adolescence, and even adulthood. Relationships will be complex and at times subtle; they will exist more notably at the level of the inner structuring of the self than in terms of manifest behavior, and they will be mediated by other factors such as encountered life stress. Relations between attachment and later behavior, normal and pathological, are not best viewed in linear, causal terms. Anxious attachment does not cause later peer incompetence, anxiety, antisocial behavior, or depression, but it may likely represent a developmental context that makes the emergence of such problems more likely.
Preparation of the chapter was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (1 RO 1 MN/HD40864-01).
The following are a series of quotations, beginning with the 1977 paper and continuing through papers published in 1986.