Attachment in early life is a fundamental aspect of child development and the establishment of intimate and reciprocal relationships with caregivers. Shaffer & Kipp (2007) define attachment as ‘a close emotional relationship between two persons, characterized by mutual affection and a desire to maintain proximity’. Contrary to the original view of infant attachment as a ‘secondary drive’ of the dependency on caregivers for physiological needs, such as hunger; Bowlby (1969, 1973) proposed that all infants are born with an innate bias to form an attachment to a primary attachment figure to whom they can seek comfort, or a ‘secure base’ during stressful circumstances. It is proposed by Ainsworth (1967) that parental sensitivity is crucial to shaping the security and development of the initial infant-parent attachment relationship, however the phenomenon of attachment requires both infants and caregivers to contribute in the formation of the attachment bond. Ultimately, the quality of attachment in early life shapes both the social and emotional …show more content…
Through factors such as cognitive development of the infant, attentive care and intimate interactions with a primary caregiver, the attachment relationship is created – shaping the infants- caregiver bond. By examining the interactions between an infant and their primary caregiver, we can identify secure, insecure and disorganized attachment (Ainsworth, 1978; Cassidy 1994); which can reveal a great deal about the relationship between the infant and attachment figure. Overall, the quality of attachment bonds formed in the early years can have long lasting effects on an infant’s emotional security and social competence; not only shaping their ability to form relationships, but laying the foundations for the social, emotional and mental development of the
Attachment theory states that either secure or insecure bonds may form between infant and mother in the first several months of the infant’s life for the purposes of safety and security. The bond formed between infant and mother influences the quality of the relationships a child has throughout his or her life. One major reasoning of the attachment theory is that the parents are a sanctuary of safety throughout all of early childhood. Insecure attachments promote feelings of threat, rejection, and personal unworthiness. This can also be the explanation for the dream children stashing food away because of the possible threat that there,” will come a time when they will not be fed” (Smith 99).Unhealthy attachments not only lead to poor caregiver-child relationships, but can also cause a dysfunctional self-development, defective relationships, substance abuse problems, and educational difficulties.
The following paper is given to discuss the attachment styles from the experts by how it was developed, while making note off the theorist whom played a part in developing the theory. This paper will also be discussing the impact the of attachment styles; secure, preoccupied, dismissive, and fearful-avoidant. There will be personal experiences given throughout the paper to further the illustrate the attachment theory. Finally, there will be a contrast on the perspective of the opposing sides when it comes to the durability of the styles. Attachment theory is an evolutionary, ethological, and psychological theory which gives individuals the explanatory and descriptive framework of understanding the interpersonal relationship between individuals in society.
Although we are studying theories, some of them appear to explain human behavior and personality with certain accuracy. John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth theories of attachment can also explain what happens to people when attachment to their parents or caregivers is healthy or potential problems that could occur due to detachments. They suggest that individuals raised with secure attachments to their primary caregivers help them to feel secure; moreover, these children appear to be more socially skilled and less likely to experience major emotional disturbances. However, failure to form healthy attachments, especially mother-child, could serve as a descriptive mechanism for many negative psychological outcomes later in the life of an individual,
In 1969, John Bowlby made the connection that formed relationships and attachments to caregivers contributes to future development and growth. The attachment theory focuses on relationship association between caregivers and their children. Children who established a foundation with a caregiver despite their biological relation, gain much needed support. Establishing support, encourages a child’s development. The comfort of safety, allows children to feel secure in taking risks (Groman, 2012).
The Potential Buffering Role of Secure Attachments to Caregivers. Early Child Res Q. 27(1):156-165. *Tucker-Drob EM and Harden KP. 2013. Gene-by-preschool interaction on the development of early externalizing problems. J Child Psychol Psychiatry.”
This test observed patterns in the infants’ experiences of separation and reunion with their mother, and their reaction to a stranger, in order to evaluate the type of attachment relationship the infant shared with their mother (Ainsworth, 1978). Ainsworth found a significant consistency between the mothers’ interactive styles and the reactions of the infants. The results of this test led Ainsworth to classify the behaviours into three main categories. She identified the infants to have secure attachment, or one of two forms of insecure attachment, avoidant or ambivalent (Music,
The secure babies used their mothers as a base to explore and as a protective safe haven. They were upset when the caregivers left but when they returned, they brought safety to the baby. Babies who had an avoidant attachment, didn’t want their caregiver upon return to the room. The caregivers for these babies may have been unresponsive to their signals of distress. Some babies were also classified as having resistant attachments, and tried kicking or arching their backs when comforted by the caregiver.
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 –
The experiment was done in a room with a one way glass to observe the infant. Different situations were given to the infant to determine the infant’s attachment style, the mother of the infant would leave the room and the infant would be left with the experimenter or the experimenter would leave the room and leave the mother and infant alone. How the infant reacts to the situation is used to determine the attachment style of the infant. Infants with secure attachment style would be distressed every time the mother would leave, the infant avoids the stranger when the mother leaves and when the mother returns the infant becomes happier. Infants with ambivalent attachment attachment style get distressed whenever the mother leaves, and avoids the stranger when left alone.
Thus, suggesting that caregiver relationships are crucial to children’s psychological and physical survival. As infants are unable to verbalize their thoughts, crying is used as a means of communication and interaction between the infant and caregiver. Caring for an Infant
Insecure attachment is “characterized by fear, anxiety, anger, or indifference.” (Berger 2014, pg.193). An infant becomes insecurely attached to his caregiver when the child has learned that there are no positive effects to emotional expressions. For example, when a caregiver allows the child to “cry it out” and is unresponsive to the child’s needs, the child will learn that his needs will not be fulfilled by others. This results in the child not being able to develop any emotional awareness and might feel emotionally detached from his caregiver.
A human baby is born with poorly developed sight and is unable to move. As a consequence to this he is vulnerable and is completely dependent on a carer for survival (Winston, 2003). To improve the chances of survival, the baby is born with pre-programmed and automatic behaviour which are prompted by environmental factors (Bergen, 2008). Bowlby theorised that when a young child feels distressed, frightened or confused, attachment behaviour is triggered and this serves to bring the child closer to their mother* who provides the desired comfort, care and protection (Bowlby,
Bowlby 's attachment theory had vast investigation done by Mary Ainsworth, who studied the interactions between mother and child, specifically, the theme of an infant’s investigation of their surroundings and the separation from their mother. This essay will focus on Bowlby’s attachment theory and Mary Ainsworth’s experiments and findings, discussing their views on the development and importance of attachment in early life. John Bowlby’s primary interest was in the relationship between child and mother or primary caregiver. Bowlby suspected that the earliest relationships formed by children and their primary parent or care giver, have huge impacts on the child’s later life. From this, Bowlby developed the attachment theory.
Introduction At the beginning of our lives we are born to create a relationship with our love ones, it depends on our parent to provide us with love and warmth to develop a positive bounding relationship. The purpose of the paper is to reflect which attachment style was utilized by my parents during my childhood and which type of attachment style I identify more during my adulthood. The four types of attachment styles that will be discussed are avoidant attachment, secure attachment, disorganized attachment, and ambivalent attachment. This reflection paper will help me as a social worker by applying my knowledge to identify the type of attachment each individual or family has and better understand how I can help them with their issues that