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Wilson, A. (1999). Attachment Theory: Social, Developmental, and Clinical Perspectives: Susan Goldberg, Roy Muir, and John Kerr. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1995, 520 pp., $49.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(1):249-253.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(1):249-253

Attachment Theory: Social, Developmental, and Clinical Perspectives: Susan Goldberg, Roy Muir, and John Kerr. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1995, 520 pp., $49.95.

Review by:
Arnold Wilson

By now attachment theory has become a focal point for many developmental and clinical psychologists, particularly those who locate their interests at the interface of these two disciplines. Its explanatory power and ability to breach artificial disciplinary boundaries make this body of hypotheses and evidence appealing also to psychoanalysts seeking a firm empirical base in human development and the ontogenesis of mind; from this base, analogically derived hypotheses can be spun off that will have certain probative implications for clinical psychoanalysis. So goes the argument. This at a time when most contemporary structural analysts strongly hold that we have an obligation not to play ostrich to the future, and that we must therefore engage contemporary thinking in adjacent disciplines. When framed this way, attachment theory becomes a theoretical tendency in contemporary psychology that psychoanalysis can usefully reckon with, further defining itself with respect to attachment theory's methods and findings.

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