John Bowlby's Early Social Development Essay

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Critically evaluate the evidence on children’s early social development in relation to Bowlby’s views on attachment.

Positive intimate relationships with spouses, relatives and friends are incredibly important to mental health in adulthood. John Bowlby 's Attachment Theory shows how relational patterns set early in life affect emotional bonds later in life.
In 1958, psychologist John Bowlby pioneered "attachment theory," the idea that the early bond between infant and caregiver, and the infant’s need to be close to the caregiver is critical to a child 's emotional development and have a biological basis to ensure survival. The central theme of attachment theory is that mothers who are available and responsive to their infant 's needs establish a sense of security in their children. The infant knows that the caregiver is dependable, which creates a secure base for the child to then explore the world.
Bowlby was very much influenced by ethological theory in general, but especially by Lorenz’s (1935) study of imprinting. Lorenz showed that attachment was innate (in young ducklings) and therefore has a survival value. Bowlby believed that attachment behaviors are instinctive and will be activated by any conditions that
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Bowlby suggested that a child would initially form only one primary attachment (monotropy) and that the attachment figure acted as a secure base for exploring the world. The attachment relationship acts as a prototype for all future social relationships so disrupting it can have severe consequences or what is called ‘internal working model’ (Bowlby, 1969). There are three main features of the internal working model: first, a model of others as being trustworthy, secondly, a model of the self as valuable, and thirdly a model of the self as effective when interacting with others. t is this mental representation that guides future social and emotional behavior as the child’s internal working model guides their responsiveness to others in
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