Psychology Case Studies Assignment Paper on Adult Attachment and Vocational Development (2)

Adult Attachment and Vocational Development (2)


            Vocational development is an important part of adult life as it determines an individual’s overall life earnings, marital stability and career growth. Many psychologists who have seen the adverse effects of vocational development that poor adult relationships can take have studied the relationship between adult attachment and vocational development. The case study selected is from chapter 12 page 413 and will look at the role of attachment, the different types of attachment people demand, and how poor adult attachment can hinder vocational development. Tayib is the son immigrant Indians and is trying to settle down with his girlfriend but commitments to work continue to impede his development of a healthy relationship at home and his wife complains about his lack of dedication to her. Tayib feels that he is under pressure to excel as he comes from an academically successful family and as shown below could be facing vocational development issues due to his own lack of proper adult attachment.

The Primary Issues

One of the critical issues is that Tayib must find a way to deal with is to develop his career and make it grow as he sees fit. There are many aspects to career growth with the financial rewards being only one of the important aspects. As an individual Tayib must ensure that the job he selects for himself is beneficial extrinsically, as it satisfies his desires for rewards such as a higher pay and rank in the office as well as intrinsic desires such as job independence, selection of assignments that he actually enjoys and the approval of his peers. The rewards of career development are an important part of the growth of an adult, and failure to realize them particularly in young adults leads to many developmental problems in the future (Duffy & Sedlacek, 2007).

The other issue Tayib faces is the development of a proper adult attachment relationship between him and his spouse as well as his adopted son. Adult attachment is still of important to a young adults as these relationships are supposed to assist individuals when they face any dangers, vulnerability or sickness, so Tayib must communicate with his girlfriend (Sarah, 2010). Older adult attachments also assist a young adult to cope in his/her new work environment by offering advice and providing assistance if called upon. another issue concerns Tayib having a proper adult attachment with his son, as the adult attachments formed during an individual’s development age affect vocational development when one becomes a young. The relationships formed at that age are used as measures of how successfully an individual has transitioned into an adult and it is therefore important for Tayib to ensure that his son has a proper adult attachment with him. 

The Challenges

One of the main challenges is the development of his career because of the lack of acknowledgement for his contribution in the company. An appraisal is important in career development as it gives room for an individual to know exactly where he/she stands in the company, as it controls an individual from overestimating his/her own capabilities. It also enables one to make changes in practices according to the desires of the employer. The lack of an appraisal means that Tayib lacks an opportunity to defend his work at the company and therefore show how much his input actually is, which could be the reason he was overlooked for a promotion (Shubhangi, Shalini, Priyanka&Pratibha, 2012). As an individual from an academically successful family, there is a lot of expectation to achieve success in formal employment. Therefore, unlike other employees, when he does not receive recognition there is the risk of being viewed as a failure in his family.

The challenge of vocational development can lead to a lack of focus on adult attachment as the individual redirects all his/her focus into vocational development both as a coping mechanism for his inadequacies as a parent and to fulfill the high expectations of corporate success that have been placed on themselves. The challenge of maintaining a proper balance between work and personal life is sometimes unattainable by young adults who have yet to adjust to the demands of adult life. This would be especially true in the case of Tayib as he had not planned to be a father but instead inherited the responsibility of raising a child when he got into a relationship with Rachel.

Identification of Possible Theory- or Research-Based Alternatives for Why the Presenting Challenge Has Occurred

The challenges Tayib faces could have occurred due to several reasons including his lack of self – confidence to study for a law degree in campus instead opting for the safer option of first becoming a paralegal. His inability to believe that he could do it in spite of coming from an academically successful family does warrant further analysis as it severely impedes his vocational development and could point to a problem in his adult attachment more so during his developmental years. The lack of proper adult – attachment during developmental years can lead to materialism which he demonstrates in declining to meet his girlfriend’s parents and this could be the actual source of his unhappiness (Burroughs & Rindfleisch, 1997).

The relationship between poor adult attachment during an individual’s developmental years and their future vocational development has been shown more than once and it could be a likely source of problems in this case given that Tayib grew up without his extended family for support. The experience one has with their primary caregivers is crucial for the development of one’s own sense of beliefs and their views and expectations from the world. It is therefore possible that Tayib was raised to see his own role in a family as provider of material goods and not value establishment of strong relationships with extended family as much as others; hence, leading to others viewing him as uncaring or materialistic (Waters, Weinfield & Hamilton, 2000). There is also a relationship between highly stressed individuals and experiencing negative adult attachment life events, and it is possible that the stress Tayib feels is from another source even though he attributes it to the problems in his relationship.

A Description of the Intervention Process

For an intervention to be successfully held it is first important to make Tayib acknowledge there is a problem in his life and that he cannot work it out by himself or by consulting his girlfriend and to instead accept the presence of a third party. The intervention does not necessarily require the use of long counseling sessions as it has been demonstrated that even short sessions in a working environment can have some benefit to the patients (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010). Within the intervention it is important for the third party to be able to say the areas which he/she feels could change about themselves while a model of success is used as something that he aspires to become. The model is an ideal that the individual, Tayib, aspires to become like, which he can reflect on the areas he needs to change. Social persuasion from his wife and his parents would also improve his willingness to participate in the program. Attempts should be made to reduce the environmental factors that are adding to the stress (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010).


Adult attachment and vocational development are crucial for the healthy progress of an adult. The issues from the above case study include the inability of Tayib to develop his career as he desires and to have proper adult attachment with his son, leading to conflicts with his girlfriend and disagreements with his family who feel his is not progressing fast enough. The source of these problems cannot be strictly environmental as Tayib’s lack of self-confidence to get a law degree could point out to his own adult attachment problems that are now hindering his vocational growth. An intervention could be staged and with the help of his immediate family and as time progresses he could make the transition into a mature adult.


Broderick, P., &Blewitt, P., (2010). The life span: Human development for helping professionals. New Jersey: Pearson.

Burroughs, J.,& Rindfleisch, A.,(1997). Materialism as a coping mechanism: An inquiry into family disruption. Advances in consumer research, 24, 89 – 97.

Duffy, R., & Sedlacek, W., (2007).What is most important to students’ long-term career choices: Analyzing10-year trends and group differences. Journal of Career Development, 34 (2), 149-163.

Sarah, I. (2010). Adult Attachment Patterns and Individual Psychotherapy: A Review. Journal of American Psychiatry, 8 (1), 968-984.

Shubhangi, S., Shalini, S.,Priyanka, S.,&Pratibha, S., (2012).Performance appraisal and career development.International Journal of Business and Management Research, 2, (1) 8-16.

Waters, E.,Weinfield, N.,& Hamilton, C., (2000).The Stability of Attachment Security from Infancy to Adolescenceand Early Adulthood: General Discussion. Child development,71, (3) 703-706.