Mary Ainsworth Attachment Theory

1097 Words5 Pages
Rachel DiMauro
Ms. Woeller
Psychology 101

Mary Ainsworth

Born in Glendale, Ohio, as the oldest of three sisters, Mary Dinsmore Ainsworth was born in the December of 1913. She was the oldest of three sisters. In 1929 Ainsworth was one of four students to achieve an honors degree in psychology from the University of Toronto. She later went on to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where she took employment. She married Leonard Ainsworth in 1950—the couple moved to London, England, where Ainsworth was granted a research position at the Tavistock Clinic, under the direction of psychiatrist John Bowlby. Ainsworth was largely influenced by Bowlby’s research on the separation between mothers and children, and the effect that it has on
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Attachment Theory is quote, “… a concept in developmental psychology that concerns the importance of "attachment" in regards to personal development. Specifically, it makes the claim that the ability for an individual to form an emotional and physical "attachment" to another person gives a sense of stability and security necessary to take risks, branch out, and grow and develop as a personality” (https://www.psychologistworld.com). Ainsworth studied how attachment usually forms within the first six months of an infant’s life. It then shows up again in the next six months, in the form of anxiety around strangers, and/or a dislike of being separated from the caregiver. Knowing this, Ainsworth decided to elaborate on this theory—and that is how the “Strange Situation” theory was born. This test is used to follow the pattern of attachment that exists between a mother (or caregiver) and…show more content…
Today, the terms secure, avoidant, resistant and disorganized/disoriented attachment are still used to define infant-caregiver relationships as well as adult romantic relationship styles and even the relationship between children and their kindergarten teacher” (http://childpsych.umwblogs.org). There are some critiques concerning attachment theory in general. Some feel that it isn’t necessarily true, that just because a child is in a certain environment, that they will behave how they are treated or taught. Some feel that this theory as too many limitations, and that because the behaviors are so limited in this theory, that it doesn’t account for exceptions to these types of children. But whether one agrees with the theory or not, there is still value to the concept that Mary Ainsworth
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