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Attachment in Adulthood

Second Edition
Structure, Dynamics, and Change

Mario Mikulincer and Phillip R. Shaver

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
May 13, 2016
ISBN 9781462525546
Price: $135.00
690 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
October 13, 2017
ISBN 9781462533817
Price: $47.00
690 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
April 20, 2016
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $47.00
690 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $94.00 $51.70
690 Pages

"Reading Attachment in Adulthood by Mikulincer and Shaver is like stepping into a classroom with two master teachers and researchers...."   read more »
Clinical Social Work Journal

Synthesizing a vast body of empirical research and organizing it around a comprehensive conceptual model, this book is recognized as the definitive reference on adult attachment. The authors explain how what began as a theory of child development is now used to conceptualize and study nearly all aspects of social functioning across the lifespan, including mental representations of self and others, emotion regulation, personal goals and strivings, couple relationships, caregiving, sexuality, psychopathology, psychotherapy, and organizational behavior. The origins and measurement of individual differences in adult attachment are examined, as is the question of whether and how attachment patterns can change.

New to This Edition:

“Reading Attachment in Adulthood by Mikulincer and Shaver is like stepping into a classroom with two master teachers and researchers....The number and scope of the studies represented in this book is staggering....For students and teachers, Attachment in Adulthood clearly introduces the history and basic concepts of attachment theory as well as a summary and analysis of a large body of adult attachment research. For scholars and researchers, the presentation of all of this information together in one text is invaluable. For clinicians, this compendium of accessible clinically relevant research benefits clinical assessments, decisions about clinical interventions, and contributes to personal awareness and growth.”

Clinical Social Work Journal (on the first edition)

“The rich information in this book benefits researchers, teachers, students, and clinicians interested in adult attachment….The book is a must have for anybody interested in processes related to adult attachment either academically or in clinical practice, especially when working in the interpersonal realm. The authors are recognized nationally and internationally as ultimate experts in attachment in adulthood….The authors also include the measurements used in the field for evaluating attachment styles, a very useful feature for researchers who now have access to them in one place….This comprehensive, state-of-the-art work is definitely the new go-to reference for anyone interested in learning about or advancing the field of adult attachment….Theoreticians, researchers, and clinicians will find it to be the ultimate resource on adult attachment issues. ****!”

Doody's Review Service

“The scholarship exhibited in this volume is superb....Now no one will need to search for primary references because they are all contained in this extraordinary volume. This is indeed a labor of love by the two authors, who rightly deserve the encomium of their colleagues and certainly mine....There is no existing theory or model that I know of that comes close to the proliferation of significant research contained in this volume emanating from this topic. It could be said without fear of exaggerating that this volume is the end-all as well as the very beginning on the topic of attachment. I doubt seriously whether any researcher, scholar, student, or professional helper will be able to study, evaluate, or apply attachment without referring to Attachment in Adulthood....It is and will certainly be the substantive basis for any clinical and nonclinical psychologist interested in personality and human relationships.”

PsycCRITIQUES (on the first edition)

“The proliferation of attachment-defined theoretical constructs and adult attachment research measurements presents a daunting challenge with a vast and often confusing or disconnected body of knowledge for both the novice and advanced clinician or research scientist. Mikulincer and Shaver have risen to this challenge, offering conceptual clarity through their exhaustive and comprehensive review of the theoretical and empirical literature with findings synthetically organized and critically appraised within a coherent theoretical framework....Mikulincer and Shaver are to be praised for their review and condensation of a vast existing evidence-based literature applied to adult attachment processes, the therapeutic process, and the wider social and organizational context.”

Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (on the first edition)

“Mikulincer and Shaver provide a wonderfully comprehensive, integrative overview of a rich and broad empirical terrain. The result is a superb second edition that not only gives readers—novices and experts alike—a deeper understanding of attachment 'from the cradle to the grave,' but also suggests where new ideas and research need to head in coming years. The authors highlight several areas of research that have grown considerably since the first edition, such as how attachment theory interfaces with neuroscience, sexuality, caregiving, emotional and behavioral regulation, interpersonal regulation, personal growth, and therapeutic advances.”

—Jeffry A. Simpson, PhD, Distinguished University Teaching Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota

“This is just an amazing book. It is beautifully written and provides a rich synthesis of the adult attachment literature. It is extremely comprehensive but at the same time a true pleasure to read. Mikulincer and Shaver are pioneers who both played critical roles in introducing attachment to mainstream psychology and who, in the years since, have made key contributions methodologically and theoretically. In this book, they go well beyond their own work to cover the waterfront. A classic.”

—Mary Dozier, PhD, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Delaware

“For more than three decades, attachment theory has been our most intellectually diverse and compelling theory of close relationships. This deeply illuminating volume is a tour de force review of contemporary theory and research. Combining insights from neuroscience, psychopathology, and developmental and social psychology, this beautifully written book offers a cutting-edge update to the first edition. Quite simply, it is indispensable.”

—Harry T. Reis, PhD, Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester

“This exciting volume is essential reading for those interested in attachment processes. The authors outline the key principles underlying the classic studies of adult attachment; impressively, they also provide a coherent integration of the thousands of studies that have built on this research. Such key topics as emotion regulation, the neurobiology of attachment, couple dynamics, and group processes attest to the breadth and depth of attachment theory and its implications for adults’ emotional and relational lives.”

—Judith A. Feeney, PhD, School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia

“This comprehensive book is exceptionally well written by attachment theory experts. It enhances the reader's understanding of attachment theory and provides a framework for future researchers to use as a guide for scientific pursuits. This is a very useful book for advanced graduate courses focused on adult attachment, such as courses covering personality theories. The appendices with multiple commonly used attachment measures and the chapters on applications of attachment theory in professional practice are extremely helpful for students.”

—Stephen L. Wright, PhD, Professor and Director of Clinical Training, Counseling Psychology Program, University of Northern Colorado

Table of Contents

I. The Attachment Behavioral System: Normative Processes and Individual Differences

1. The Attachment Behavioral System: Basic Concepts and Principles

2. A Model of Attachment-System Functioning and Dynamics in Adulthood

3. Normative Attachment Processes

4. Measurement of Attachment-Related Constructs in Adulthood

5. Individual Differences in Attachment-System Functioning: Development, Stability, and Change

II. Intrapersonal Aspects of Attachment-System Functioning

6. Attachment-Related Mental Representations of Self and Others

7. Attachment Processes and Emotion Regulation

8. Attachment Orientations, Behavioral Self-Regulation, and Personal Growth

III. Interpersonal Manifestations of Attachment-System Functioning

9. An Attachment Perspective on Interpersonal Regulation

10. Attachment Processes and Couple Functioning

11. Relations between the Attachment and Caregiving Systems

12. Attachment and Sex

IV. Clinical and Organizational Applications of Attachment Theory

13. Attachment Bases of Psychopathology

14. Implications of Attachment Theory and Research for Counseling and Psychotherapy

15. Applications of Attachment Theory and Research in Group and Organizational Settings

V. Epilogue

16. Reflections on Attachment Security


Appendix A. Adult Attachment Questionnaire (AAQ)

Appendix B. Adult Attachment Scale (AAS)

Appendix C. Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ)

Appendix D. Relationship Style Questionnaire (RSQ)

Appendix E. Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR)

Appendix F. ECR-R Items

Appendix G. Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR)—Short Version

Appendix H. ECR-12: A Brief Version of the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR)

Appendix I. State Adult Attachment Measure (SAAM)

Appendix J. Experiences in Close Relationships—Relationship Structures Measure (ECR-RS)

Appendix K. Caregiving System Scale (CSS)

Appendix L. Caregiving Questionnaire

Appendix M. Sexual System Functioning Scale (SSFS)



About the Authors

Mario Mikulincer, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Provost of the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya in Israel. His research interests include attachment styles in adulthood, terror management theory, personality processes in interpersonal relationships, evolutionary psychology, human learned helplessness and depression, trauma and posttraumatic processes, coping with stress, qualitative research on emotional states, and mental rumination and self-focused attention. Dr. Mikulincer is a fellow of the American Psychological Society and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. He is a recipient of Israel's EMET Prize for Art, Science, and Culture.

Phillip R. Shaver, PhD, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Davis. He has published several books, including Handbook of Attachment, Third Edition, and over 250 journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Shaver's research focuses on attachment, human motivation and emotion, close relationships, personality development, and the effects of meditation on behavior and brain. He is a fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science and is past president of the International Association for Relationship Research, which honored him with its Distinguished Career Award. He has also received Distinguished Career Awards from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stockholm, Sweden.


Researchers and students in social, developmental, and clinical psychology and family studies; mental health practitioners working with individuals and couples.

Course Use

Serves as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

First Edition, © 2007
ISBN: 9781606236109
New to this edition: