- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (April 23, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195115015
- ISBN-13: 978-0195115017
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.4 x 5.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love Reprint Edition
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From Kirkus Reviews
The complex topic of attachment theory is opened up to parents, as well as other interested adults, by putting issues of child development, usually couched in antiseptic academic parlance, in lay terms. Ranging through historical developments in the field, Karen, formerly a psychotherapist in the pediatric unit of Bellevue Hospital, attempts to demystify ``mother love,'' or the bond babies have with their primary caregiver (Karen is also concerned with what happens to babies when that bond is disrupted). The author introduces and defends the English researcher John Bowlby, whose intuitions in the late 1930's about ``maternal attachment'' would be borne out not by his research but by that of Mary Ainsworth decades later. It may be historians and would-be child psychologists to whom this book matters most, for the delineation of who contributed what to the field, and when, puts both attachment theory and psychoanalytic theory into a context of early speculations, later advances, due championing, and (some) tarnishment. Amid occasionally florid prose, and with a tendency to characterize figures as either brilliant or great, Karen delves into what theorists have believed to be children's earliest feelings of rage and helplessness, love and security. Wittily titled chapters with effective cliffhanger endings will carry readers along on the tide of discovery and naysaying, furious debate, and placid acceptance of what these days is considered universally scandalous treatment of children (from abandonment of orphans to the analysis by her father of Anna Freud). Karen's work makes clear that, regardless of the path of scientific thought, there are newly minted, common-sense reasons for giving offspring all the love and respect we can. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Robert Karen has a rare capacity for presenting complex psychological ideas in language that is accessible to nonspecialists....Karen's book makes fascinating reading and constitutes a considerable achievement."--Contemporary Psychology
"Robert Karen...is one of our smartest and most accessible guides to the arcane world of psychoanalytic theory and research."--Elle
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Top customer reviews
It also explains why early childhood is so crucial. From depression, to different habits, this book gives you an understanding of what determines certain behaviors in our lives.
It is truly a shame that there are so many selfish and careless parents out there. If you're going to have a kid you and your partner need to agree to stick around and provide a solid and stable home for at least 10-15 years. If you are unsure about that, don't have a KID! I am convinced that we have so many screwed up people in the world (or a big majority) because of situations similar to the ones presented in this book.
Enough ranting. If you or a loved one wants to understand themselves, understand why they are the way they are, this book is for you. You can't become the person you want to be or can be, if you don't reconcile with the person you were raised to be.
Attachment theory addresses child development in terms of whether or not there is a loving attachment to a parental figure. Through following the history of the development of attachment theory the author explains the theory, the evidence supporting it, and the effects upon the individual.
While supportive of attachment theory, Karen is careful to explain the views of its critics, and to show how those criticisms often improved the theory.
I am not a psychologist, but someone with Borderline Personality Disorder trying to make sense of my life in order to improve it. Karen's work helped me enormously. His scientific orientation to provide good theory grounded in reseach and evidence is fused with his warm humanity and concern for individuals and society.
Therefore I recommend the book to professional psychologists, teachers, makers of public policy, and others who deal with children. But also I recommend it highly to those on the quest for self-understanding.