Attachment security enhancement model: Bolstering attachment securing through close relationships

Kumashiro, Madoka and Arriaga, Ximena B.. 2020. Attachment security enhancement model: Bolstering attachment securing through close relationships. In: Brent A. Mattingly; Kevin P. McIntyre and Gary W. Lewandowski, Jr., eds. Interpersonal Relationships and the Self-Concept. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, pp. 69-88. ISBN 9783030437466 [Book Section]

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Attachment security has been linked to a number of healthy personal and relational outcomes in adulthood, but research is lacking on how to enhance attachment security in non-clinical settings. This chapter describes the Attachment Security Enhancement Model (ASEM), a dual-process model that leverages the power of romantic relationships to manage momentary attachment anxiety or avoidance, and foster greater security over time. Experiences with partners can revise deeply-rooted beliefs and expectations individuals have about their self and others (working models). The ASEM suggests ‘safe strategies’ that partners can enact to mitigate the potentially destructive effects of attachment anxiety and ‘soft’ strategies to mitigate the effects of avoidance. Such efforts to buffer moments of attachment insecurity can restore calm and prevent a downward spiral, but are unlikely to address underlying issues that reinforce insecure working models. Therefore, the second part of the ASEM recognizes the need for partners to optimize ongoing periods of non-distress in ways that foster positive features of one’s self and one’s relationship partner. Anxious individuals can become more secure through experiences that encourage self-confidence, and avoidant individuals can become more secure with interdependent experiences that create positive associations with dependence. Such processes work in tandem over time to enhance attachment security. The chapter will describe the major tenets of this relationship induced self-transformative model.

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Book Section

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Attachment security, Attachment styles, Working models, Close relationships, Interdependence, Support, Exploration

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21 May 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

29 Nov 2021 09:43

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29 Nov 2021 09:43


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