Emotion in Relationships 2
Developmental Antecedents of the Emotion in Romantic Relationships
Some of life’s most intense emotions are experienced within close relationships.Berscheid and Reis (1998) have claimed that identifying the origins and the profile of emotions experienced within a relationship is essential if one wants to really understandits most important features. Given this reality, one might expect that a great deal wouldbe known about the experience and express of emotions in close relationships,particularly how relationship experiences at critical stages of social development forecastthe type and intensity of emotions that are experienced in adult attachment relationships.Surprisingly little, however, is known about these issues.In this chapter, we use attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969, 1973, 1980) andattachment constructs as organizing frameworks to fill these crucial conceptual andempirical gaps in our knowledge emotions in close relationships. After reviewingrelevant theory and research on this topic, we discuss the findings of a recent longitudinalstudy that has continuously tracked the same sample of individuals from birth into earlyadulthood.
Attachment Theory and Emotions
Attachment theory (Bowlby 1969, 1973, 1980) provides a unique andcomprehensive account of the normative (i.e., species-typical) and individual difference(i.e., individual-specific) processes that typically generate emotions in close relationships.According to Bowlby, the attachment system serves two primary functions: (1) to protectvulnerable individuals from potential threats, and (2) to regulate negative affect oncethreats are perceived. The normative component of attachment theory specifies the