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The development of psychopathology from infancy to adulthood: The mysterious unfolding of disturbance in time

Fonagy, P; (2003) The development of psychopathology from infancy to adulthood: The mysterious unfolding of disturbance in time. INFANT MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL , 24 (3) 212 - 239. 10.1002/imhj.10053.

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Abstract

A model for the development of this mechanism is offered as well as evidence for it from five areas: (1) the nature of the association of early attachment and later cognitive functioning, (2) accumulating evidence for the association between secure attachment and the facility with which internal states are understood and represented, (3) the limited predictive value of early attachment classification, (4) the studies of the biological functions of attachment in other mammalian species, and (5) factor analytic studies of adult attachment scales that suggest the independence of attachment type and attachment quality. The author tentatively proposes that attachment in infancy has the primary evolutionary function of generating a mind capable of inferring and attributing causal motivational and epistemic mind states, and through these arriving at a representation of the self in terms of a set of stable and generalized intentional attributes thus ensuring social collaboration, whereas attachment in adulthood serves the evolutionary function of protecting the self representation from the impingements that social encounters inevitably create. Severe personality pathology arises when the psychological mechanism of attachment is distorted or dysfunctional and cannot fulfill its biological function of preserving the intactness of self representations.

Type: Article
Title: The development of psychopathology from infancy to adulthood: The mysterious unfolding of disturbance in time
Location: MONTREAL, CANADA
DOI: 10.1002/imhj.10053
Keywords: ADOLESCENT BEHAVIORAL-DEVELOPMENT, ANTISOCIAL-BEHAVIOR, CHILDRENS ADJUSTMENT, INTELLECTUAL FRAMEWORK, PREFRONTAL CORTEX, SEX-DIFFERENCES, VIRGINIA TWIN, FOLLOW-UP, DRD4 GENE, ATTACHMENT
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/134284
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