Attachment Theory as a Model of Doctor-Patient Interaction

Hannah F. Cassedy, Richard A. Enander, Richard C. Robinson, H. Monroe Evans, Blake Frank, Christy Tucker, Paula D. Miltenberger, Sandra Pitts, C. Allen Stringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Individuals' attachment styles have been traced throughout the life span, informing our understanding of long-standing interpersonal patterns and self-care habits. Recent scholarship has identified direct and indirect mechanisms through which attachment theory may impact individuals' health outcomes, with specific emphasis on endocrine and behavioral responses to stress. This article reviews extant literature on medical patients' attachment styles and also proposes a new line of research: an investigation of the interaction between patients' and providers' attachment styles. As medical establishments place more emphasis on effective patient-provider communication, attachment theory serves as an apt framework for clarifying, measuring, and training medical personnel in the advancement of patient-centered care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-178
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Applied Biobehavioral Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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