Attachment histories and futures: reply to Vicedo’s ‘Putting attachment in its place’

Robert Duschinsky, Marinus van IJzendoorn, Sarah Foster, Sophie Reijman, Francesca Lionetti

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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For Vicedo, ‘putting attachment in its place’ seems to entail two aspects. The first is working to understand the rise of attachment theory and its place within the history of knowledge practices. The second is to criticize the validity of attachment theory. In this reply, we appraise three criticisms made by Vicedo of attachment theory, chosen as points for sustaining a dialogue. Our main point in this reply is that, in excluding the work of attachment researchers after Ainsworth from consideration, Vicedo’s work is not yet able to properly ‘put attachment in its place’, in either sense of the phrase. At most, she puts Bowlby in the 1950s–1960s in his place, but without speaking effectively to subsequent attachment research. In our view, not just the validity, but the very meaning of attachment as a scientific research programme cannot be understood outside of its temporal context, and the relationship this entails between theory and research, past and future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date2 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


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