overview family relations institute

Dynamic Maturational Model
of Patterns of Attachment (A5-6)

Family Relations Institute

A5: A5 individuals use a compulsively promiscuous strategy (Crittenden, 1995) to avoid genuine intimacy while maintaining human contact and, in some cases, satisfying sexual desires. They show false positive affect, including sexual desire, to little known people, and protect themselves from rejection by engaging with many people superficially and not getting deeply involved with anyone. This strategy develops in adolescence when past intimate relationships have been treacherous and strangers appear to offer the only hope of closeness and sexual satisfaction. It may be displayed in a socially promiscuous manner (that does not involve sexuality) or, in more serious cases, as sexual promiscuity.

A6: Individuals using a compulsively self-reliant strategy (Bowlby, 1980) do not trust others to be predictable in their demands, find themselves inadequate in meeting the demands or both. They inhibit negative affect and protect themselves by relying on no one other than themselves. This protects the self from others, but at the cost of lost assistance and comfort. Usually this strategy develops in adolescence after individuals have discovered that they cannot regulate the behavior of important, but dangerous or non-protective, caregivers. They withdraw from close relationships as soon as they are old enough to care for themselves. There is a social form of the strategy in which individuals function adaptively in social and work contexts, but are distant when intimacy is expected, and an isolated form in which individuals cannot manage any interpersonal relationship and withdraw as much as possible from others.

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