Attachment Theory Of Attachment

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Attachment theory is the combined work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991). John Bowlby formulated the basic principles of this theory to explain the emotional bond between infants and their caregivers (Fraley & Shaver, 2000). Bowlby explains that a motivational system, called the attachment behavioural system, I based on an evolutionary model which states that “genetic selection” preferred attachment behaviours, because they increased the likelihood of protection and provided survival gains, such as feeding, social interaction, and learning about the environment, while in close proximity to the attachment figure (Cassidy & Shaver, 2008). Further, Bowlby (1969) developed the idea of attachment to highlight the role of interactions with caregivers and its part in personality development For this reason, Mikulincer and Horesh (1999) explain that proximity to responsive and available caregivers provide infants with a “secure base” on which to handle distress, own individuality, and the ability to form new close relationships with others. In comparison, interactions with rejecting and unavailable caregivers cause distress, a sense of mistrust, and doubts about self-worth (Mikulincer & Horesh, 1999). With this in mind, Greenspan and Bowlby (1974) also maintained that these interactions and experiences are internalized into “attachment working models”, that are mental representations of the self and significant others, which result in different

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