Attachment Theory Analysis

1374 Words6 Pages
The attachment theory, developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth is an essential key that explains many child-parent relationships and the influence it has on development. Attachment is a process that begins during infancy in an individual’s life and can have long lasting effects. Bowlby’s theory concluded that the bonds formed between a caregiver and a child during the early years were the blueprints for future relationships. Ainsworth’s “strange situation” experiments and numerous studies tested Bowlby’s original theory and expanded on it. This paper will provide an overview on the research that has been conducted on the effects of attachment patterns on an individual’s early and later development.

Keywords: Attachment—Attachment theory—Attachment
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Studies have shown the life long effects of each attachment style on an individual’s emotional and brain development. The relationship between a child and his primary caregiver can lead to two possible end results: secure or insecure attachment. Secure attachment can be defined as “a relationship in which an infant obtains both comfort and confidence from the presence of his or her caregiver.” (Berger 2014, pg. 193). This relationship can be a source of comfort and trust for a child. Securely attaching to a caregiver makes a difference in a child’s immediate and long term behavior. An infant develops a secure attachment when the caregiver is sensitive to the child’s internal state, consistently responds to the child’s physical and emotional needs and when the caregiver interacts with the child. A securely attached child exhibits certain characteristics that shows that he/she is securely grounded. Berger (2014) defines these characteristics as “proximity seeking”. Proximity seeking behaviors are evident in children as they relate to their caregivers. Some of these behaviors include a child following their caregiver, a child crying when their caregiver leaves the room, and a child seeking to be near their caregiver. (Berger 2014, pg. 192). According to the attachment theory, infants who have formed a secure attachment to a caregiver can use them as secure basis to…show more content…
The attachment style that is formed during this stage is the blueprint for a child’s confidence, resourcefulness, and resilience. Studies have shown the positive impacts of early attachment on an individual’s personal and relational functioning in adulthood. One’s attachment style relates to how they handle their future relationships, loss and trauma, and their life choices. According to research, “the emotional bond that develops between adult romantic partners is partly a function of the same motivational system—the attachment behavioral system—that gives rise to the emotional bond between infants and their caregivers.” (Fraley, 2010). A securely attached child will lead to an adult who is empathetic, trusts others, and comfortable with intimacy and
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