From what I can see, attachment theory seeks to describe behaviors in infants and children that we generally carry on to later in life.
- Secure attachment occurs when children feel they can rely on their caregivers to attend to their needs of proximity, emotional support and protection. It is considered to be the best attachment style.
- Anxious-ambivalent attachment occurs when the infant feels separation anxiety when separated from the caregiver and does not feel reassured when the caregiver returns to the infant.
- Anxious-avoidant attachment occurs when the infant avoids their parents.
- Disorganized attachment occurs when there is a lack of attachment behavior.
The Big Five personality traits has some similar concepts that describe behavior from a traits perspective. I use the Big Five over something like Myers Briggs typology as it is one of the more scientifically validated tests.
- Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious). Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience. Openness reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety a person has. It is also described as the extent to which a person is imaginative or independent and depicts a personal preference for a variety of activities over a strict routine. High openness can be perceived as unpredictability or lack of focus, and more likely to engage in risky behaviour or drug taking. Also, individuals that have high openness tend to lean, in occupation and hobby, towards the arts, being, typically, creative and appreciative of the significance of intellectual and artistic pursuits.:191 Moreover, individuals with high openness are said to pursue self-actualization specifically by seeking out intense, euphoric experiences. Conversely, those with low openness seek to gain fulfillment through perseverance and are characterized as pragmatic and data-driven—sometimes even perceived to be dogmatic and closed-minded. Some disagreement remains about how to interpret and contextualize the openness factor.[clarification needed]
- Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless). Tendency to be organized and dependable, show self-discipline, act dutifully, aim for achievement, and prefer planned rather than spontaneous behavior. High conscientiousness is often perceived as being stubborn and focused. Low conscientiousness is associated with flexibility and spontaneity, but can also appear as sloppiness and lack of reliability.
- Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved). Energetic, surgency, assertiveness, sociability and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others, and talkativeness. High extraversion is often perceived as attention-seeking and domineering. Low extraversion causes a reserved, reflective personality, which can be perceived as aloof or self-absorbed. Extroverted people may appear more dominant in social settings, as opposed to introverted people in this setting.
- Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. challenging/detached). Tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. It is also a measure of one’s trusting and helpful nature, and whether a person is generally well-tempered or not. High agreeableness is often seen as naive or submissive. Low agreeableness personalities are often competitive or challenging people, which can be seen as argumentative or untrustworthy.
- Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident). Tendency to be prone to psychological stress. The tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, and vulnerability. Neuroticism also refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control and is sometimes referred to by its low pole, “emotional stability”. High stability manifests itself as a stable and calm personality, but can be seen as uninspiring and unconcerned. Low stability manifests as the reactive and excitable personality often found in dynamic individuals, but can be perceived as unstable or insecure. Also, individuals with higher levels of neuroticism tend to have worse psychological well being.
In general, I think the “attachment theory” traits are just combinations of the Big Five personality traits. For instance,
- Secure attachment – higher on openness, higher on extraversion, high on agreeable, low on neuroticism
- Anxious-ambivalent – low on openness, low on extraversion, moderate on agreeable, high on neuroticism
- Avoidant – Probably low on openness, low on extraversion, very low on agreeableness (so very disagreeable), and high on neuroticism (high psychological stress through very easily negative emotionally affected).
- Disorganized – combinations of them that don’t mix well.
Recognizing these things things as a combination of traits that can be worked on and counseled is important.
Also from the above link:
A study of gender differences in 55 nations using the Big Five Inventory found that women tended to be somewhat higher than men in neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The difference in neuroticism was the most prominent and consistent, with significant differences found in 49 of the 55 nations surveyed. Gender differences in personality traits are largest in prosperous, healthy, and more gender-egalitarian cultures. A plausible explanation for this is that acts by women in individualistic, egalitarian countries are more likely to be attributed to their personality, rather than being attributed to ascribed gender roles within collectivist, traditional countries
This makes some sense, and generally higher scores on neuroticism have issues with trust and bonding and more easily respond to psychological negative emotions. This is why women tend to have higher diagnosed bipolar and other psychological disorders. This is also why it can be more useful to be kind(er) to women than men in regard to Christian instruction, especially correction, admonishment, and rebuke.
All in all, I think knowledge of such trends is used to recognize in those important to you like family, friends and others, so that you can use it to influence them well as a Christian and help raise them up in spiritual maturity.