The objective of this essay is to provide a brief overview of the history of adult attachment research, the key theoretical ideas, and a sampling of some of the research findings.
By Saul McLeodupdated Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space Ainsworth; Bowlby Attachment does not have to be reciprocal.
One person may have an attachment to an individual which is not shared. Attachment is characterized by specific behaviors in children, such as seeking proximity to the attachment figure when upset or threatened Bowlby, Such behavior appears universal across cultures.
Attachment theory explains how the parent-child relationship emerges and influences subsequent development. Attachment theory in psychology originates with the seminal work of John Bowlby Specifically, it shaped his belief about the link between early infant separations with the mother and later maladjustment, and led Bowlby to formulate his attachment theory.
John Bowlbyworking alongside James Robertson observed that children experienced intense distress when separated from their mothers. The behavioral theory of attachment stated that the child becomes attached to the mother because she fed the infant.
This is illustrated in the work of Lorenz and Harlow Most researchers believe that attachment develops through a series of stages. Stages of Attachment Rudolph Schaffer and Peggy Emerson studied 60 babies at monthly intervals for the first 18 months of life this is known as a longitudinal study.
The children were all studied in their own home, and a regular pattern was identified in the development of attachment.
The babies were visited monthly for approximately one year, their interactions with their carers were observed, and carers were interviewed. A diary was kept by the mother to examine the evidence for the development of attachment. Three measures were recorded: Stranger Anxiety - response to the arrival of a stranger.
Separation Anxiety - distress level when separated from a carer, the degree of comfort needed on return. Social Referencing - the degree a child looks at their carer to check how they should respond to something new secure base.
Asocial 0 - 6 weeks Very young infants are asocial in that many kinds of stimuli, both social and non-social, produce a favorable reaction, such as a smile.
Indiscriminate Attachments 6 weeks to 7 months Infants indiscriminately enjoy human company, and most babies respond equally to any caregiver. They get upset when an individual ceases to interact with them.
From 3 months infants smile more at familiar faces and can be easily comfortable by a regular caregiver. Specific Attachment 7 - 9 months Special preference for a single attachment figure.
The baby looks to particular people for security, comfort, and protection. It shows fear of strangers stranger fear and unhappiness when separated from a special person separation anxiety.
Some babies show stranger fear and separation anxiety much more frequently and intensely than others, nevertheless, they are seen as evidence that the baby has formed an attachment.
This has usually developed by one year of age. Multiple Attachment 10 months and onwards The baby becomes increasingly independent and forms several attachments. By 18 months the majority of infants have formed multiple attachments.Infant attachment is defined as “the primary and stable relationship that forms between an infant and the primary caregiver during the first 12 months of a child’s life” (Long, M., , p.
) While attachment does affect the infant and parent socially, it also has an impact neurologically. Attachment Paper; Attachment Paper. 2 February Ainsworth and colleagues classified the attachment styles of the infant based on the observed strength of the bond between the infant and their caregiver (Ainsworth, et al., ).
Attachment theories remain dominant throughout the lifespan (Ainsworth, ). representations are expected to be stable yet open to revision in light of experience throughout childhood, conclude by summarizing the main findings from the literature on the stability of attachment across the lifespan and provide a discussion of limitations and directions for future research.
child’s attachment between the or. There are four types of infant-parent attachment: three ‘organized’ types (secure, aggressive behaviours and coercive styles of interaction It is also acceptable for a child to cry when intrusive medical procedures need to be done to save the life of a child, treat a sick infant or give immunizations.
Although, it may be advisable. Mary Ainsworth concluded that the strange situation could be used to identify the child's type of attachment has been criticized on the grounds that it identifies only the type of attachment .
- The Attachment Theory in Child Psychology The term "attachment" describes "an infant's tendency to seek closeness to particular people and to feel more secure in their presence" (Atkinson et al, , p90).