Skip to content

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest public health information from CDC:
Get the latest research information from NIH:
Get the latest shareable resources on coping with COVID-19 from NIMH:

Construct: Affiliation and Attachment

RDoC Classification

Domain: Social Processes


Affiliation is engagement in positive social interactions with other individuals. Attachment is selective affiliation as a consequence of the development of a social bond. Affiliation and Attachment are moderated by social information processing (processing of social cues) and social motivation. Affiliation is a behavioral consequence of social motivation and can manifest itself in social approach behaviors. Affiliation and Attachment require detection of and attention to social cues, as well as social learning and memory associated with the formation of relationships. Affiliation and Attachment include both the positive physiological consequences of social interactions and the behavioral and physiological consequences of disruptions to social relationships. Clinical manifestations of disruptions in Affiliation and Attachment include social withdrawal, social indifference and anhedonia, and over-attachment.


3CRF CRFR2 D1 Dopamine KOR Mu opioid receptor Oxytocin oxytocin receptor Vasopressin vasopressin 1a receptor


Magnocellular OT


Amygdala BNST FF gyrus NAcc OFC PVN VMPFC VTA- NAcc- VP-amygdala


activation of sympathetic activity HPA axis activation HPA down-regulation Immune markers immune responses (“sickness”) Sex steroid changes Vagal tone vagal withdrawal


Attachment Formation

Maintaining proximity Preference for individual

Attachment Maintenance

Distress upon separation


Adult Attachment Interview Attachment Questionnaire for Children Scale Attachment Style interview Bartholomew and Shaver Bereavement scales Experience in Close Relationships Scale Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment Scale Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support Parental Bonding Instrument QSORT Parent Attachment interview Social Anhedonia scale Social subscales of depression


Cyberball One-armed Bandit Task