Attachment and Psychopathology

Edited by Leslie Atkinson and Kenneth J. Zucker

March 28, 1997
ISBN 9781572301917
Price: $65.00
328 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
bookProfessors: request an exam copy

This up-to-date volume applies attachment theory and methods to extend our understanding and prediction of psychopathology. Studies of such populations as divorced mothers, chronically ill infants, Romanian adoptees, children of mothers with anxiety disorders, and boys with gender identity disorder reveal a variety of clinical implications and highlight issues for attachment theory. Chapters utilize research into a recently discovered form of attachment the disorganized pattern as well as new technologies for classifying attachment security beyond infancy.

“An excellent collection of chapters by some very distinguished clinicians dealing with problems of bonding, attachment, and failures of attachment.”

The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter

“This book brings attachment theory and research full circle. What began as a theory to explain pathological functioning, yet stimulated tremendous understanding of normal development, returns to illuminate a variety of clinical problems and concerns. In consequence, theorists, researchers, and practitioners alike will find this volume to be an important resource. What has always been a great strength of attachment theory is its ability to bridge the gap between normal and disturbed psychological development. This volume underscores this contribution in multiple ways, highlighting continuity and discontinuity in development, the impact and limits of early relationship experiences in the family, and the ways in which cognition and emotion shape psychological functioning. It will prove to be an important resource for anyone with interests in developmental psychopathology.”

—Jay Belsky, Distinguished Professor of Human Development, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Pennsylvania State University

“Attachment and Psychopathology is a stimulating and up-to-date volume on what has become a major topic. It would be hard to imagine a more appropriate group of chapter authors for a book with this title. The authors contribute a wide variety of insights, ranging from incisive reviews of theoretical and empirical advances to new empirical data and clinical case material. Researchers, clinicians, and graduate students should all find the book very useful.”

—John E. Bates, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology, Indiana University

“This volume truly represents the state of the art in linking attachment theory, research, and clinical practice. The chapters demonstrate the relevance of attachment research to problems that include divorce, conduct disorder, criminal behavior, parenting, and sexuality. Atkinson and Zucker provide a valuable overview of the field that provides readers with a clear understanding of both the scope and limits of the attachment paradigm. One has to be impressed with the growing sophistication of attachment researchers as they test theory against difficult clinical problems.”

—Roger Koback, Ph.D., Dept. of Psychology, University of Delaware

Table of Contents

I. General Considerations

1. Attachment and Psychopathology: From Laboratory to Clinic, Leslie Atkinson

2. Clinical Implications of Attachment Concepts: Retrospect and Prospect, Michael Rutter

3. Patterns of Attachment and Sexual Behavior: Risk of Dysfunction versus Opportunity for Creative Integration, Patricia McKinsey Crittenden

II. Risk and Prediction

4. Attachment Networks in Postdivorce Families: The Maternal Perspective, Inge Bretherton, Reghan Walsh, Molly Lependorf, and Heather Georgeson

5. Intergenerational Transmission of Attachment: A Move to the Contextual Level, Marinus H. Van IJzendoorn and Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg (SPELLING IS ODD BUT CORRECT ON BOTH CHAPTER AUTHORS)

6. Attachment and Childhood Behavior Problems in Normal, At-Risk, and Clinical Samples, Susan Goldberg

7. The Role of Attachment Processes in Externalizing Psychopathology in Young Children, Mark T. Greenberg, Michelle DeKlyen, Matthew L. Speltz, and Marya C. Endriga

8. Crime and Attachment: Morality, Disruptive Behavior, Borderline Personality Disorder, Crime, and Their Relationships to Security of Attachment, Peter Fonagy, Mary Target, Miriam Steele, Howard Steele, Tom Leigh, Alice Levinson, and Roger Kennedy

III. In the Clinic

9. Toddlers' Internalization of Maternal Attributions as a Factor in Quality of Attachment, Alicia F. Lieberman

10. Intergenerational Transmission of Relationship Psychopathology: A Mother-Infant Case Study, Charles H. Zeanah, Elizabeth Finley-Belgrad, and Diane Benoit

About the Editors

Leslie Atkinson, Ph.D., is Research Head and Senior Psychologist at the Family Court Clinic, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. He is also Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Education, University of Toronto, and an Adjunct Faculty member, Graduate Programme in Psychology, York University.


Practitioners, researchers, and students of clinical and developmental psychology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and social work, as well as other professionals concerned with human development. Serves as a text in graduate-level courses in atypical child development, adult psychopathology, developmental psychology, and human development.

Course Use

Serves as a text in graduate-level courses in atypical child development, adult psychopathology, developmental psychology, and human development.