Across the life cycle

Again, as the paper essentially lacked participating figures, the embodying of two divergent forms of interpreting and presenting results was therefore manifested. It was noted firstly that 64% were assigned to corresponding classifications in infancy to adulthood, meaning, classification remained constant over time, secondly, 72% received the same classification using the secure-insecure dichotomy and lastly, 36% changing classification. One might suggest the motive for presenting two interpretations would intensify findings however phrasing and arrangement of these results could have been made clearer.

The measuring of negative life events involved two methods, checklist and AAI. The underlining assumption assumes responses given between alternative measures correspond with one another in an attempt to verify answers, but this was not entirely the case. It was noted that 8 were classified ‘one or more’ by checklist but ‘none’ by AAI and again, 2 classified ‘one or more’ by AAI but ‘none’ by checklist, this displaying a measurement error. The reliability of results between the alternative measures was found to be problematic as disagreements between the two findings arouse. Clearly faults had arisen during this process and again resulting in the removal of more results however valuing the mythological attempts to validate responses should be given appraisal.

Another point to mention in relation to the AAI is the number of classifications utilised by the study. The Original casting of the AAI consists of four attachment classification, the current paper only accommodates three of the four classifications, abolishing the ‘unresolved’ classification. One might insinuate that this classification may not have any relevance to the study and thus would serve no purpose however clarifying such a reason has not even been attempted.

Both the strange situation and AAI relies on observational methods as a means of assessing relationship patterns within a given setting, however behaviour observed at a given time may not entirely represent a person typical behaviour therefore reliability of data can be questioned. This was point was highlighted within the paper, attributing a 10% measurement error to both these methods. Although the ‘strange situation’ and AAI has been extensively criticised, it is the most widely used technique for measuring the quality of attachments.


In conclusion, the paper under review illustrates stability and change of attachment organisations from infancy to late adolescence/early adulthood in addition to providing information about the relationship between negative life events and changes in attachment classification. The utilisation of the SSP and AAI enabled attachment classifications to be measured and further analysed for relationship changes however flawed methodological errors generates doubt regarding reliability of data. Further research would suggest implementing several other additional measures for validating attachment behaviours, increasing sample sizes and focus attention on either the lower or upper class population.


Ainsworth, M.D.S., Blehar, M.C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ:Erlbaum. Ainsworth, M.D.S., & Eichberg, C. (1991). Effects on infant-mother attachment of mother’s unresolved loss of an attachment figure, or other traumatic experience. In C.M. Parkes, J. Stevenson-Hinde, & P. Marris. Attachment across the life cycle.

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