Attachment Theory: Matthew Perry

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Attachment Theory and Perry Matthew Perry was born to two loving parents before they separated when he was a young child. They had both been his primary caregivers, thus he had a strong attachment to both of his parents. However, when his parents divorced, his father moved to California, while Perry lived in Ottawa with his mother. Miljkovitch, Pierrehumbert, Karmaniola, Bader, and Halfon (2013) conducted a study that demonstrated how the loss of an important caregiver that has a secure attachment to the child, can cause the child to have troubles bonding to people in the future, for fear of this loss. It is evident that the impact and the pain of his father leaving caused Perry to have a difficult time creating new intimate bonds. He has had…show more content…
In a study completed by Reiner and Spangler (2013) the different attachment styles were accessed to see which personality traits correlated most strongly with them. They found that people with anxious-ambivalent attachments tended to rate lower on agreeableness, which can cause a person to have trust issues, and feel that people are trying to deceive them. This can lead to poor personal relationships, explaining why Matthew Perry does not have many lasting intimate relationships. It also influences the need for drugs or alcohol to feel more relaxed and at ease, so that he can have a stronger sense of belonging. The study also showed that anxious-ambivalent attachments tended to rate high in harm avoidance. Throughout his career Matthew Perry has shown that he is pessimistic, an excessive worrier, and is doubtful of himself, all of which are part of harm avoidance. Having an anxious-ambivalent attachment style has led to Matthew Perry being difficult to work with on the set of multiple television shows and movies. Because he tends to be anxious, he often turned to drugs to calm himself down and make him feel accepted before he went to rehab. Once he completed his rehab he was easier to work with at times, but many of his personality traits, including low on agreeableness, anxious, and pessimistic, were…show more content…
He started to pursue acting and he first became well known for his role on the television show Friends. During his time on the show he dealt with alcohol and prescription drug abuse, as well as depression. Perry was a very anxious person, and could be difficult to work with on set, and he did not create any long term relationships. Because Perry’s father left when he was young, he developed a fear of losing the ones he loved, thereby making it more challenging to form lasting bonds. Attachment theory was developed by Bowlby to determine how the relationship between care givers and infants, affected the infants throughout their life. Following his guideline Ainsworth conducted the Strange Situation, which testing infant’s responses to their mother, and divided them into three groups. Perry fit into the anxious-ambivalent attachment, which caused him to feel the desire to fit in, causing anxiety, and leading to his drug and alcohol abuse, and he used these to feel more comfortable and relaxed in difficult situations. When Perry moved in with his father he struggled with the feared loss of connection with his mother and the need for independence. Trying to balance these two things proved to be very challenging, and could be a contributor to Perry’s depression. Because of his attachment Perry is more likely to be low on a scale of agreeableness and high on harm avoidance,

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