John Bowlby's Attachment Theory

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Discuss the contribution of attachment theory to the social and emotional development of a young child or adolescent. In John Bowlby’s (1969) theory of attachment he outlines the relationship between infant and mother. He believed that human we predisposed create a dyadic relationship. This was not merely a relationship determined by biological satisfaction of needs such as feeding rather an innate desire for comfort and support. This forms a sense of security that the infant uses to explore the work. The Internal Working Model- The infant uses the relationship as a secure base from which they can explore the world. First divised by Melanie Klein was at the centre of Bowlby’s theory. The Internal Working Model is a vital part of personality…show more content…
Considering attachment in this boardest sense attachment can be considered in most of our adult relationships and not merely as infant dependency. Lovers etc. However, Bowlby (1969) refers to attachment as the relationship between social figures, namely infant and caregiver. Freud also believed in attachment between mother and infant but believed this stemmed from oral satisfaction through feeding. However the work of Harlow and Zimmerman (1959) suggest that Freud was incorrect and that the bond between caregiver and infant was due to comfort. Demonstrated that feeding was not the crucial element. (Santrock 97) The maternal bond is neither a case of genetics or feeding patterns rather the influence of social role. The stereotypical mother is the care giver, feeding and caring. While the fathers role is to play and support. In cases where mother is not present the father can assume similar stature to mothers role, i.e. rilance and secure base. Lamb 1997 observed interaction through play with parents and child. No favorites until stranger featured. Mother was…show more content…
A large proportion of the research supports the importance of attachment in early childhood and the security formed can result in certain social and behaviour characteristics. As a child develops its independence the attachment behaviour become less prominate leading to a social mature relationship. Ainsworth (1989) suggest that it never disappears and that adolescences and young adult still rely on their parent in these roles. Bowlby (1979) it is a mistake to assume as some psychoanalysts do, that the presence of attachment behaviour in adult life is pathological, regressive or reflects ‘fixation’. To Bowlby this is a biological based behaviour and a considered choice. As attachment in early childhood is an introduction into how relationship work and react. It makes sense take people bring that learnt behaviour forward with them in life. Just like early childhood more than one attached relationship. Ainsworth (1991) expresses an interesting component regarding adult attached relationship, the concept that a secure base is applied to intimate adult relationship. ‘Evidence is accumulating that human beings of all ages are happisest and able to deploy their talents to best advantage… with a secure base from to operate’ (Bowlby,

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