Responding to the needs of others: The caregiving behavioral system in intimate relationships

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The caregiving behavioral system has been identified as a vital component of adult attachment bonds, but until recently it has received relatively little attention in the adult attachment literature. In this article, we review recent theoretical and empirical developments on caregiving dynamics in adult intimate relationships, focusing on normative processes and individual differences. In doing so, we discuss the factors that facilitate or impede responsiveness in couples, and the importance of responsiveness for the development and maintenance of secure relationships. We conclude by discussing some key directions for future research.