The review of the literature concerning such concepts as abandonment, inadequateness, childbearing, and companionship as related to the female life shows that researchers tend to use attachment theory or rather concepts developed in the second part of the 20th century. For instance, Rutten et al. (2015) focus on the concept of autonomy(-connectedness) developed within the paradigm of attachment theory. Whereas, Doron et al. (2012) claim that the attachment system is “active” throughout the entire life of an individual and employs the concept of a person’s attachment styles (p. 165).
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Some concepts developed within attachment theory will be utilized in this study as the theoretical framework can help explore the peculiarities of females’ behavior when it comes to companionship and abandonment. However, to address the research topic of this study, the theory mentioned above is not sufficient, and another theoretical paradigm will be used.
The research topic of this study addresses the impact abandonment experiences (and fears of abandonment) and inadequateness of women aged between 21 and 55 have on their choices concerning companionship and childbearing. It is necessary to note that there are some systems of ideas explaining the phenomena in question. Connelly (2014) stresses that theories guide any research as they are tools researchers employ to examine various phenomena and issues.
As far as the tools used to address the research topic in question, it is possible to state that two theoretical frameworks are appropriate. One of the systems used is attachment theory or rather some concepts developed within this paradigm. Attachment theory focuses on the effect attachment to a primary caregiver has on the development of the child. However, in this study, the theoretical paradigm associated with the way attachments are developed in adulthood will be utilized.
The concept of autonomy and connectedness will be central. Such aspects as companionship and abandonment will be explored from the perspective of this theory. As for another theory used in this study, it will be the social learning theory. This framework is based on the assumption that people’s behavior is shaped by various social norms existing in society. This theory will be instrumental in addressing such concepts as inadequateness and childbearing.
Connelly (2014) stresses that using theories enables researchers to use similar tools to explore various issues and phenomena, which enables them to compare their results and findings. It is necessary to note that this study will not test or refute the theories mentioned above. The paradigms are relevant and applicable. It is also possible to add that this study will not expand the theories through the provision of a new way to apply the theory.
Attachment theory has already been applied to explore certain concepts in adulthood rather than the early stages of human development. However, this study will refine the tools mentioned above. Thus, attachment theory will be refined as attachment development in adulthood will be further explored. In other words, this study will add to the attachment theory by describing new facets of the way adult women develop or see attachments.
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Social learning theory will also be refined as this research will add new insights into the way adults learn when a cluster of ideas is apparent. For instance, different views on marriage (companionship) and childbearing exist in the US (as well as any society) since females are becoming more socially active, and gender roles are transforming. It is also possible to note that the study aims at revealing the connection between the two theoretical paradigms through examining the balance between the power of social norms and personal experiences (attachment developed during different stages of people’s life).
Connelly, L.M. (2014). Use of theoretical frameworks in research. Medsurg Nursing, 23(3), 187-188.
Doron, G., Moulding, R., Nedeljkovic, M., Kyrios, M., Mikulincer, M., & Sar-El, D. (2012). Adult attachment insecurities are associated with obsessive compulsive disorder. Psychology and psychotherapy: Theory, research and practice, 85(2), 163-178.
Rutten, E., Bachrach, N., Van Balkom, A., Braeken, J., Ouwens, M., & Bekker, M. (2015). Anxiety, depression and autonomy-connectedness: The mediating role of alexithymia and assertiveness. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. Web.