Bowlby Attachment Theory Essay

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One of the main theories in Developmental psychology is the attachment theory that was devised by Bowlby (1969) and was added to in 1973, by Mary Ainsworth. The attachment theory surrounds the bond between a primary care giver and a baby. They believe that attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space. In 1930 Bowlby worked as a psychiatrist in a children’s unit, where he treated many emotionally disturbed children, this lead him to consider the relationship between mother and child and the impact that could have on the child’s development. Bowlby believed that the attachment process was an all or nothing process and that you either were attached or were not attached. In the 1950’s…show more content…
The babies were visited monthly and the carers were also observed and interviewed. A diary was also kept by the primary care giver (usually the mother) three measure were recorded. The first was stranger anxiety – the response to the arrival of a stranger, the second was separation anxiety – the distress levels when separated from the career and the degree of comfort upon their return and finally social referencing – the degree that the child looks at the carer to check how they should respond to something new (this is referred to as secure base). They discovered that a baby’s attachment follows in this sequence. • 0-6 weeks – Asocial – babies are Asocial in that many types of stimuli, both non-social and social, produce a favourable reaction such as a smile. • 6 weeks – 7 months – Indiscriminate Attachment – most babies respond equally to any caregiver and they get upset when the caregiver no longer interacts with them. From 3 months they will smile more at familiar faces and can be easily comforted by a regular care giver. • 7 -9 months - Specific attachment- babies will look to a particular person for security, comfort and protection, it will show fear of a stranger and unhappiness when separated from the special person. Some babies would show stranger fear and separation anxiety much more than

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