Attachment Security and Prosociality

Dynamics, Underlying Mechanisms, and Implications

Authored by: Omri Gillath , Gery Karantzas

Handbook of Personal Security

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848726758
eBook ISBN: 9781315713595
Adobe ISBN: 9781317498476


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Feeling loved and comforted, that others will provide support when needed and that the world is a safe place, has been shown to be an important foundation in people’s prosocial behavior. These feelings of safety and security facilitate helping by reducing personal concerns or woes that weigh people down and focus their attention inward, and by making people feel they have the skills and resources they need to help others. These feelings, or sense, of security are largely grounded in developing loving and caring relationships with close others. Examining security from a relationship perspective therefore provides important insights into how relationship processes shape security and how this in turn shapes helping and prosocial behavior more generally. Attachment theory, a widely studied theory of relationships and human bonding, has already been shown in the literature to provide a useful framework to understand the genesis and interpersonal dynamics that shape the association between security and prosocial behavior. In the current chapter we review the theory and research dedicated to this association.

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