To address the concept of attachment as outlined by John Bowlby (1953), the author shall define attachment theory and behaviour; look at some key influences on Bowlby that led to the development of attachment theory; discuss some key concepts involved and the implications for understanding child and adolescent behaviour.
Attachment plays a crucial role in the development of young children, and the social skills of children as they grow into adulthood. Looking at attachment from a low socioeconomic stand point reveled many interesting trends within individual’s attachment styles.
Attachment theory is the combined work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991). John Bowlby formulated the basic principles of this theory to explain the emotional bond between infants and their caregivers (Fraley & Shaver, 2000). Bowlby explains that a motivational system, called the attachment behavioural system, I based on an evolutionary model which states that “genetic selection” preferred attachment behaviours, because they increased the likelihood of protection and provided survival gains, such as feeding, social interaction, and learning about the environment, while in close proximity to the attachment figure (Cassidy & Shaver, 2008). Further, Bowlby (1969) developed the idea of attachment to highlight the role
Overview of Attachment Theory Attachment theory tries to describe the evolution of personality and behaviour in relationships and it gives a reason for the difference in a person’s emotional and relationship attitudes. In the beginning, it looked at the mechanics of relationships between children and their parents but it has since been expanded to cover the entire life of the human being (Howe, 2000). Attachment theory includes insights learned from evolutionary theory, ethology, systems theory and developmental psychology (Howe, 2001).
Attachment is as an affection or fondness for someone or something. Attachment is “an affectionate bond between two individuals that endures through space and time and serves to join them emotionally”.(Butler.I, Hickman.C ,2011, pg 14) Attachment theory is the theory of how infant and caregiver bond from the works of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991 ).They use the approachs from animal behaviour, how people communicate, how infants process information, how people change over their life , and the unconscious mind. Attachment is “not synonymous with love or affection; it is not an overall descriptor of the relationship between the parent and child which includes other parent–child interactions such as feeding, stimulation, play or problem solving” (Prior, 2006, pg 15)
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
Attachment is a strong enduring reciprocal bond an infant shares with a significant individual, usually the mother, who knows and responds well to the needs of the infant. (Gillibrand et al. 2011 p. 242) The evolutionary theory of attachment according to Bowlby is based on the idea that children have an innate programming to form attachments but they must be made during a critical period or it would not be possible after this period. The continuity hypothesis of the evolutionary theory suggests that relationships with the primary care giver (monotropy) provides an internal working model, which the child will acquire and base future relationships on similarly to the one the monotropy displayed to the child.
The attachment theory, developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth is an essential key that explains many child-parent relationships and the influence it has on development. Attachment is a process that begins during infancy in an individual’s life and can have long lasting effects. Bowlby’s theory concluded that the bonds formed between a caregiver and a child during the early years were the blueprints for future relationships. Ainsworth’s “strange situation” experiments and numerous studies tested Bowlby’s original theory and expanded on it. This paper will provide an overview on the research that has been conducted on the effects of attachment patterns on an individual’s early and later development.
Although Bowen’s family systems theory, and Bowlby’s attachment theory are unique with their own thoughts and perceptions, both of the theories can also be taken as different viewpoints of the same human experience, specifically the development of relationship patterns and human attachment. Both theories touch upon the influence that unsolved problems in the parents may have on their children. Attachment theory focuses more on the infant’s first attachment, or primary attachment. This is usually between the mother and the infant. If the attachment is interrupted and the infant’s needs are not being met by the primary attachment, mother, this could adversely affect the infant’s cognitive and mental development as well as future attachments.
The paper mainly focuses on the conceptual framework of Attachment theory as well as attachment style of a client with Self-esteem issues that helps in the case formulation and treatment plan in Cognitive Behavioural Theory (CBT). Attachment style can be explained as an emotional connection of one person with another. The aim of this research study is to evaluate an association between attachment theory and cognitive behavioural approaches, explicitly pointing out similarities as well as differences between both. For the research analysis, qualitative research methodology has been selected for which distinctive previous researches, books and journal article resources has been examined as the gathered evidences are based on attachment theory
Ainsworth’s descriptions of attachment were found to be related to relationship development. Specifically, adults with avoidant tendencies tend to be relatively uninterested in romantic relationships, have a higher breakup rate than secure adults (Shaver & Brennan, 1992), and grieve less after a breakup (Simpson, 1990). Anxious adults are obsessed with their romantic partners and form extreme jealousy (Collins, 1996; Hazan & Shaver, 1987). Relationships with a partner who has an anxious attachment have a higher rate for breakups as well.
Sigmund Freud (1982) also known as the “Father of Psychoanalysis” claimed that the mother-child connection is an unconscious bond between the infant and the primary caregiver which becomes the dominant force for a pattern of behaviors throughout the infant’s entire lifespan. However, John Bowlby, a British psychologist, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst developed Freud’s claim further and introduced the attachment theory. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health “Attachment is one specific aspect of the relationship between a child and a parent with its purpose being to make a child safe, secure and protected. Attachment is distinguished from other aspects of parenting, such as disciplining, entertaining and
The secure attachment style is given to a child when they have comforting and consoling parents, that way the child can later go to them when they are in need. On the other side of the spectrum, Ainsworth names another attachment style insecure avoidant; a child is insecure avoidant when they receive no response or concern from their mother or father figures and they learn that they need to rely mostly on themselves in times of need. A mix of the two is given the name insecure preoccupied, or insecure anxious, and this attachment style happens when sometimes the mother or father are present when the child needs help, so they receive some contact; the child yearns for attention, but rarely gets a reciprocating
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