Attachment in Old Age, a Dimension to Take into Account


  • María Pilar Quiroga Méndez Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca



attachment theory, old age, disease, emotional regulation


Attachment theory provides a new framework for under­standing old age. Due to its automatic activation response characteristics to any situation perceived as threatening, attachment in old age is an especially important construct. Attachment is postulated as the precursor factor of emo­tional regulation in the elderly, due to its automatism, sta­bility in the life cycle and connection with basic biological mechanisms of anxiety. Resistant attachments act in old age, producing responses of extreme dependence and suf­fering; and avoidance types activate excessive independ­ence, which prevents self-care and the perception of risk. In addition, health problems typical of old age are aggra­vated in insecurely attached subjects, creating a greater vulnerability to disease due to the inflammatory and car­diac biological processes underlying this type of attach­ment. More than half of the elderly population can be con­sidered a population at risk, due to the presence of insecure attachments. Through attachment theory, it is possible to understand the reactions of older people under stress and intervene in a tight way, since this perspective becomes modulating and novel for the understanding of old age.


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How to Cite

Quiroga Méndez, M. P. (2020). Attachment in Old Age, a Dimension to Take into Account. Acción Psicológica, 17(2), 13–24.



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