Attachment security and how to get it

William J. Chopik, Rebekka Weidmann, Jeewon Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Attachment theory has become a dominant framework for understanding people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with respect to close relationships. People often want to and are motivated to improve their personalities and their relationships. Can attachment orientations change across the lifespan? And if so, what facilitates change? Will insecure people stay insecurely attached across their life or is there hope for change? The current review provides a bird's eye view of the research on how and why attachment orientations change in adulthood. We provide some descriptive information for how attachment changes across the lifespan and how much of this variation is attributable to early life experiences. Then, we focus on the processes that are thought to engender attachment-related changes over time. Finally, we provide some directions for future research to help fill some holes in the field's understanding about attachment orientations and how they change over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12808
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • adult attachment
  • close relationships
  • lifespan development
  • personality
  • volitional change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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