pattern of findings that suggests that researchers should proceed with increased awareness of the possible role of defensive processes. It is particularly important to consider whether individuals with an avoidant organization have tendencies to dismiss attachment, to idealize self and other, or to mask negative emotions. These tendencies, which may operate selectively with regard to attachment organization, can conceivably influence the measurement of constructs related to attachment. The connection between attachment organization and defensive processes can have important implications not only for methodology, but for theory and clinical practice as well. The study of this connection opens up new research opportunities for collaboration between developmentalists and clinicians.
The authors are grateful to Mary D. Ainsworth, Jay Belsky, Elsie R. Broussard, and Ilo Milton, who provided helpful comments on an earlier draft of this chapter. Preparation of this chapter was supported by the NIMH Postdoctoral Training Grant to the Consortium on Family Process and Psychopathology.
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