What is the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM)?

Posted by Selby LighthillApr 17, 20230 Comments

Based on the work of developmental psychologist Patricia Crittenden, the Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation (DMM) is a theory of attachment patterns, how they develop and change over time

The model emphasizes that attachment patterns are shaped not only by early experiences with caregivers, but also by ongoing experiences and the individual's own adaptations to stress and trauma.

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The DMM proposes four broad patterns of attachment, each with subtypes based on the individual's strategies for coping with stress and danger. These patterns are labeled A, B, C, and D. Pattern A is characterized by avoidance and detachment, pattern B by secure attachment, pattern C by ambivalence and preoccupation, and pattern D by disorganization and disorientation.

Unlike some other models of attachment, the DMM acknowledges that attachment patterns can change over time, depending on the individual's experiences and adaptations. The model also recognizes that attachment patterns can vary across different relationships, and that attachment is not necessarily a fixed trait but a dynamic process of adaptation and change.

As a therapeutic tool, the DMM offers a nuanced and flexible approach to understanding attachment and adaptation, highlighting the importance of ongoing experiences and individual differences in shaping attachment patterns.