Mary Ainsworth's Attachment Theory

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Mary Ainsworth’s study on attachment theory continues to be widely discussed today. If a child has been mistreated by a primary caregiver, how does that affect the child? When a child is raised in an abusive household, it has an impact on the child’s life. What do they do? Where do they turn? If their primary caregiver is proven untrustworthy, who can the child trust? Furthermore, how does the child cope? The environment children are raised in has an immense impact on their lives. According to Ainsworth, “attachment refers to an affectional tie that one person forms to another specific individual… attachment is thus discriminating and specific” (Salande & Hawkins, 2016). Without an attachment to an adult, a child has no guidance or direction in life. Therefore, if a child grows up in an unstable family structure, this child is more likely to develop an insecure attachment style in adulthood. Attachment theory confirms the importance of human relationships and their consequences for individual development (Schneider, 1991). As one continues to grow into an adult, it is important to have one to look up to for guidance, no matter what the situation may be.…show more content…
There are four different types of adult attachment styles: secure anxious/preoccupied, dismissive, and fearful. The secure attachment style falls under its own category, whereas the other three are subcategories under of insecure attachment. To determine attachment styles, participants were given surveys about their security in romantic relationships. The survey had two critical variables: attachment related anxiety and attachment related avoidance. Participants who scored high on attachment related anxiety and attachment related avoidance are described as having fearful-avoidant attachment style. Individuals who score low on both scales are described as having secure attachment styles (Fraley,
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