Lifespan Development: Attachment Theory

1101 Words5 Pages
The research on Lifespan Development is ever growing. Nonetheless, it is evident that, whilst development does occur throughout the life, one’s early life experiences are what is most integral to this process. The following essay will display this through a psychodynamic lens of attachment theory. Firstly, an introduction to the lifespan approach as well as attachment theory will be delved into. Subsequently, looking at both strengths and limitations, attachment studies will be used to oppose aspects of the lifespan approach as well as display prominence on early life. Lastly, the applications of such theory will be analysed within the South African context. To understand the emphasis of preliminary experiences against a lifespan approach,…show more content…
Bowlby, notably researched a set of abandoned orphans and the negative effect separation from their parents had on them (Bretherton, 1992; Senior, 2013). This led him to conclude attachment formed in these years influenced one from birth to death (Chopik, Edelstein, & Fraley, 2012; Drewery, 2011) For instance, he stated that people with early attachment insecurity, are more susceptible to psychological issues such as high anxiety and riskier health behaviour (Bretherton, 1992; Cooper, et al., 2008). Ainsworth, also believed in prominence on early experiences of attachment. This alludes to her study, the Strange Situation, which focuses on children’s responses to separation and reunion events with their parents (Bretherton, 1992; Main, 2000). She stated that based on the quality of parental care, a child would fall within three categories of attachment. A child whom received sufficient care, would develop secure attachment and, thus, be confident and steady individuals. Yet, a child receiving insufficient care, would either become insecurely anxious-ambivalent, thus, becoming clingy, distrustful and hypervigilant to the world; or alternatively would become insecurely avoidant, being rather dismissive to situations around them (Bretherton, 1992; Main, 2000). A fourth category of disorganised attachment was added, referring to children whom lacked attachment mechanisms completely (Main, 2000). Both these theorists wanted to display the importance of early life experiences in development and the following arguments will display how their theories proved
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