Skip to main content

Bonding theory: Tying people in knots?

Billings, Jenny R. (1995) Bonding theory: Tying people in knots? Journal of Clinical Nursing, 4 (4). pp. 207-211. ISSN 0962-1067. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.1995.tb00208.x) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:44125)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
Official URL


In recent times, nursing has witnessed a growing support for the notion of theory as being instrumental in enhancing nursing practice and ultimately patient care (Marriner, 1986). Whether generated from nursing practice, or ‘borrowed’ from other fields, the use of theory is viewed by some as the key to the ultimate recognition of nursing as a scientific, professional discipline in its own right (Stevens, 1984). Parallel to this view, there is a research perspective that questions the ultimate contribution of certain theories to health-care practice, particularly those emanating from other disciplines, urging caution in their practical utility. This paper enlarges upon this theme, focusing specifically upon the psychological theory of bonding, attempting to explore critically the degree to which it can be used in nursing practice, and to which it contributes towards our understanding of the attachment behaviour between a mother and her infant.

A brief outline is given of the theory and its impact on health-care practice, and possible limitations discussed with reference to the conceptual origins of bonding theory, the validity of its research methodology, and its use within the wider health-care setting.

A feminist sociological perspective is used in a brief attempt to explore the wider implications of the bonding theory in relation to the position of women.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.1995.tb00208.x
Uncontrolled keywords: attachment behaviour;bonding;nursing theory
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2014 16:26 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2022 13:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Billings, Jenny R.:
  • Depositors only (login required):