Volume 21, Issue 3

Attachment Components in Portuguese Adolescents

Hazan and Zeifman (1994, 1999) proposed a fourphase model of the transfer of primary attachment status from parents to peers. The model focused on four main components of attachment: proximity seeking, safe haven, secure base, and separation protest. The present study evaluates the model as it applies to adolescents' relationships with parents, boyfriend/ girlfriend, and best male/female friend. Using a cross-sectional design, 533 respondents aged 13 to 23 years were asked about each of the components in each type of relationship. The results are consistent with what we call an enlargement searching model, i.e., the inclusion of significant others beyond parents in the relational net for attachment purposes, but not a substitution. The process seems influenced by both romantic relationship duration and gender. With the exception of parents, the use of one kind of relationship for attachment functions seems to be independent of the use of other kinds of relationships.

adolescence, attachment components; significant figures, attachment transference

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