Attachment and relationships across time: An organizational-developmental perspective

Jeffry A. Simpson, W. Andrew Collins, Allison K. Farrell, K. Lee Raby

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we present the normative organizational-developmental perspective that has guided our thinking and research on how and why certain types of interpersonal experiences encountered earlier in life are systematically linked to individual-level and couple-level functioning in later relationships. We begin by overviewing the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation (MLSRA; Sroufe et al., The development of the person: The Minnesota Study of Risk and Adaptation from Birth to Adulthood, 2005) and by discussing some of the key measures that have been collected as part of this novel longitudinal sample. We then discuss the findings of several recent studies that have examined how romantic relationships are maintained and sometimes dissolve during early adulthood (age 20–23), including the ways in which these relationship processes are shaped by the quality of targets’ early caregiving experiences. Following this, we describe how an organizational-developmental perspective clarifies our understanding of the normative processes through which adult romantic relationships develop and their early interpersonal origins. We conclude by discussing some promising directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBases of Adult Attachment
Subtitle of host publicationLinking Brain, Mind and Behavior
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781461496229
ISBN (Print)9781461496212
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


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