Attachments w/Vanessa Cruz

Circle of Security

The Circle of Security is a visual map of attachment. The “father” of attachment theory, John Bowlby, said this about attachment: “Intimate attachments to other human beings are the hub around which a person’s life revolves, not only as an infant or a toddler or a schoolchild but throughout adolescence and years of maturity as well, and on into old age. From these intimate attachments a person draws strength and enjoyment of life and, through what he contributes, gives strength and enjoyment to others. These are matters about which current science and traditional wisdom are at one.” (Bowlby, J. (1980) Attachment and Loss: Volume 1. Attachment. Basic Books: New York.)

Attachment Styles

Attachment styles are characterized by different ways of interacting and behaving in relationships. During early childhood, these attachment styles are centered on how children and parents interact.

In adulthood, attachment styles are used to describe patterns of attachment in romantic relationships. The concept of attachment styles grew out of the attachment theory and research that emerged throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Today, psychologists typically recognize four main attachment styles.

  • Research in organizations has shown that leadership style is related to attachment style. Attachment style refers to ways in which one attaches to or relates to others, and is based on early experiences with caregivers (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978; Bowlby, 1969).
  • Transformational leaders with a secure attachment style were more available to their followers, giving, encouraging, and empowering in leadership relations compared to leaders with an insecure attachment style (Popper et al., 2000).
  • Adults with an insecure attachment style are generally seen as less favorable in terms of work relationships (Hazan & Shaver, 1990). One specific example of research on the relationship between insecure attachment and professional effectiveness involved an analysis of mentoring relationships between senior and junior faculty (Banjeree-Batist, 2014). Individuals with insecure attachment styles had difficulty establishing relationships with their mentors and struggled to seek help from mentors. They were also more likely to give lower ratings of mentoring relationships (Banjeree-Batist, 2014).