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2006 Awardees

Klaus & Karin Grossmann

Generous enthusiastic friends and mentors

in the Bowlby-Ainsworth tradition. For

demonstrating the central roles of ethological

observation, cross-cultural data, and

longitudinal designs in attachment study.




Klaus and Karin Grossmann hold a unique place in the history of attachment study. Their landmark Bielefeld Longitudinal Project provided the first independent confirmation of key findings about attachment development and individual differences. Their explorations of cross-cultural generality and cultural sensitivity of developmental processes are an essential element in the case for attachment theory. Throughout their careers in Bielefled and Regensburg, the Grossmanns have emphasized and demonstrated the power of ethological observation, longitudinal analysis, and programmatic research. In addition to their major longitudinal studies, their contributions include enduring friendship and support for Mary Ainsworth and great generosity toward her students and others interested in attachment study. Through their extensive travels, their work as editors and translators of attachment theory and research, and their infectious enthusiasm for attachment study, they have helped knit diverse centers of research into a community of attachment study. Their success mentoring generations of students and serving as a secure base from which they have branched out to explore and make their own original contributions is a model and an enduring legacy. Individually fine scholars and scientists; together a true partnership in the Bowlby-Ainsworth tradition. 



Elizabeth A. Carlson

Clarifying the organization of attachment

behavior. Modeling the role of attachment

representations across the lifespan.

Generosity in support of colleagues in the

Bowlby-Ainsworth tradition.






Elizabeth Carlson has made significant contributions to theory and research in the areas of attachment, representation, and psychopathology. A major contributor to the Minnesota Longitudinal Study, she has made key contributions to scores of papers on attachment across the lifespan. Her paper on disorganized attachment, its causes, consequences, and, especially its links to dissociation, is the definitive treatment of this difficult and important topic. Dr. Carlson also has explored the continuity and discontinuity over time of children’s representations of interpersonal experience. Her 2004 Child Development paper on the “construction of experience” is widely considered a landmark among modern conceptualizations of coherence and continuity in development. 

In addition to her formal scholarship, Dr. Carlson has made major contributions teaching attachment theory and assessment to students and colleagues who have visited Minneapolis from dozens of countries around the world to attend he summer training institutes. She has assisted, typically behind the scenes, with dozens of prominent projects. And she has been at least as generous in helping with far flung dissertation projects and toward young faculty members trying to get their careers off the ground. 

Elizabeth Carlson is an unsung hero who quietly goes about her work and supports the work of others, making monumental contributions without ever trying to accrue notoriety or influence. Both the Minnesota Longitudinal Project and attachment study in general have been made more agreeable and more successful by Betty Carlson's tireless work. Perhaps most importantly, she has been a model of insightfulness and generosity for the students who will shape attachment study in the future. For these contributions, which well reflect the standards and values John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth represented and valued, this 2006 Bowlby-Ainsworth Award is given to Elizabeth A. Carlson.




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