Level: PhD

Qualifications: PhD student in psychology or related disciplines

Credits: 4.5-7,5 ECTS points

Dates: Bi-weekly two-hour meetings from Fall semester, 2019, through Spring semester, 2020, then marching on continuously.

Location: room 242, Fhv 14, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University. 

Course leader and organizers

Pehr Granqvist and Tommie Forslund (shared)


Please contact pehr.granqvist@psychology.su.se or tommie.forslund@psychology.su.se 

Overview and contents

This advanced course is intended for PhD students who have already acquired basic knowledge in attachment theory and research. The course covers literatures related to attachment theory and research in the broadest sense, ranging from neural, physiological and behavioral processes observable in non-human animal species, via normal human child development, to social psychological, clinical, and even sociological applications of attachment theory and research across the life-span. 

The course stands on two legs – journal club and factory, respectively.

Regarding the journal club, students read peer-review journal papers and handbook chapters representing the current frontlines of attachment theory and research and featuring important theoretical/conceptual issues. Students are responsible for nominating, presenting, discussing, and leading the discussion of this literature, under guidance of the course leaders.

Regarding the factory, students are responsible for handing in written assignments related to attachment (e.g., manuscripts before peer-review), make revisions based on feedback from their course peers and course leaders, and to read and provide feedback to their peers’ written assignments. As part of the factory, students will also present and discuss research ideas with their course peers and the course leaders.

Course goals

After completing the course, students should:

  • Have breadth and depth of knowledge of the current states-of-art in the theory and science of attachment;
  • be well-read on cutting-edge perspectives, problems, and research endeavors dealing with attachment theory and research across the major disciplines of psychological science (e.g., developmental, biological, comparative, social, personality, and clinical psychology); 
  • be able to present (in verbal and written form), analyze, and critically discuss the current frontline of attachment theory and research, as well as to benefit from peer feedback on their own presentations.


To reach the course goals, students must attend and fully participate in at least 20 seminars to gain 4,5 hp, and at least 30 seminars to gain 7,5 hp. In addition, as part of the journal club, students are required to nominate literature, present and select discussion questions, and lead the discussions across two different seminars (for 4,5 hp) or three seminars (for 7,5 hp). Finally, as part of the factory, students are required to present written compositions of their own and to revise these compositions based on peer feedback. 


The literature of the journal club comprises peer-review journal papers and handbook chapters representing the current frontlines of theory and research within the science of attachment. Although the literature can, in principle, be drawn from any peer-review journal or handbook in psychology and related disciplines, most papers should be selected from high-impact journals and state-of-the-art handbooks*. The minimum number of pages for all students to read is 450 (for 4,5 hp) and 750 (for 7,5 hp), respectively. Additional background reading is naturally required for the students assigned the task of presenting a written composition.

*Beyond peer-review articles, we will use the handbook of attachment as our general background source:

Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P.R. (Eds.). (2016). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford. Ca 900 pages.

Additional information

This “subject course” (ämneskurs) is expected to run as a series more or less continuously at the Department, with novel literature for each semester. PhD students may take this course for credit at a maximum of 7,5 hp.