“Earned attachment security”.  Manna from heaven. Sweet words in my ears.

Adults with earned security experienced problems in their families growing up, but were able to deal with and make sense of those early experiences, understand how those experiences influenced their lives, and formed healthy relationships as they got older. They formed a close, trusting, and healing relationship with a friend, romantic partner, therapist, or other significant person.

Although a history of negative childhood experiences may leave lingering vulnerability to stress, for example, the experience of having at least partly resolved childhood difficulties also may create an added resilience (Phelps et al., 1998). More specifically, individuals with earned security may possess greater coping resources than individuals with continuous history of attachment security because circumstance has forced them to marshal and draw on these resources more.

Dieu merci.


Pearson, J. L., Cohn, D. A., Cowan, P. A., & Cowan, C. P. (1994). Earned- and continuous-security in adult attachment: Relation to depressive symptomatology parenting style. Development and Psychopathology, 6, 359-373.

Phelps, J.L., Belsky, J. and Crnic, K. 1998: Earned security, daily stress, and parenting: a comparison of five alternative models.  Development and Psychopathology, 10, 21-38.

Moller, Naomi P, McCarthy, Christopher J, Fouladi, Rachel T. 2002: Earned attachment security: Its relationship to coping resources and stress symptoms among college students following relationship breakup.  Journal of College Student Development, Mar/Apr [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3752/is_200203/ai_n9028060/?tag=content;col1]