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20 May 2016

Paper Alert: God as an Attachment Figure

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It is my pleasure to announce the publication of “God as an Attachment Figure: A Case Study of the God Attachment Language and God Concepts of Anxiously Attached Christian Youths in South Africa”. This article examines how young people experience God as a relational partner. The paper is published in the Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health (formally known as the American Journal of Pastoral Counselling) via Taylor & Francis. Below is the abstract:


This study examines the role of the Christian God as an attachment figure, using the attachment language criteria of a strong and enduring affectionate bond. Respondents were 15 anxiously attached Christian youths, purposefully selected for in-depth interviews to explore their God attachment language and God concepts. The results show how the respondents saw God as a target for their proximity-seeking behaviors, albeit conflicted in their relationship experience. They also used some form of metaphorical theology that represented God to them as either stronger or wiser, as a safe haven for security, or as a response to their internal conflict.

The paper is an excerpt from my M.Phil research on youth identity crisis at the University of Stellenbosch two years ago. This is the second report from the research and couple of others will follow suit in the coming months. You can download the paper on my publication page or simply click here. I am open to comments and questions about the paper.

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