The attachment theory specifies that an infants and young child requires consistent relationships with people to thrive and develop. Attachment is described as a essential need with a biological basis where infants or young children need to maintain a sense of security with a specific person. Developing a secure attachment between the infant and their parents or guardian is an important part of early childhood development, due to the many things that can interfere with the development of a healthy attachment. Without a secure attachment, an infant may develop problems that can continue throughout their lives and affect the relationships with others.
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)
Social workers must be familiar with attachment theory for several reasons. One example is how a person has developed attachment will greatly influence how they connect with and maintain relationships in their lives. Moreover, having a firm grasp of attachment theory provides a social worker with a starting point to assess their client and subsequently determine an appropriate course of action to help a client obtain healthier and fulfilling relationships. For social workers to identify the attachment styles of an individual they must be familiar with the patterns of attachment and the characteristics of each. The most common and desirable forms of the attachment patterns is secure attachment. Research suggests that children who demonstrate secure attachment styles go on to have more positive social interactions which lead to learning how to trust others and increases self-esteem (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2013). Additionally, it is important for social workers to know the what contributes to children obtaining secure attachment. Zastrow and Kirst-Ashman (2013) highlight that caregivers which spend significant time with their child, react to their child’s needs, the caregiver has a deep commitment to the child and are emotionally responsive, and a caregiver is present over a long period. Providing training for caregivers to learn how
This test observed patterns in the infants’ experiences of separation and reunion with their mother, and their reaction to a stranger, in order to evaluate the type of attachment relationship the infant shared with their mother (Ainsworth, 1978). Ainsworth found a significant consistency between the mothers’ interactive styles and the reactions of the infants. The results of this test led Ainsworth to classify the behaviours into three main categories. She identified the infants to have secure attachment, or one of two forms of insecure attachment, avoidant or ambivalent (Music,
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).
states that they are primarily based on the infants needs for security and safety, and that they learn as they grow that their safety is best provided by a particular individual. This is what leads to the special relationship with the primary caregiver (pp 177). Responding to Izzie’s needs, behavioral cures, and being consistent in parenting I believe has led her to develop a secured attachment. A secured attachment is defined by the textbook as a style of attachment where a child uses the mother as a kind of home base and is at ease when she is present. They explore independently, returning to her occasionally. Although they may or may not appear upset when she leaves, they will immediately go to her and seek contact when she returns
From the moment a child is born, he or she has basic needs for comfort and affection that should be met. Children that are not properly nurtured early in life do not form quality attachments with adults and learn that they cannot be trusted to meet the child’s needs. Reactive attachment disorder can develop when the child does not form loving, secure, and stable attachments with others, caused by inadequate or inconsistent care, maternal depression or separation, abuse, or neglect, among other things. As the child ages, this can lead to a myriad of difficulties, some examples being issues regulating emotions and behavior, a lack of cause and effect thinking, a desire to be in control, poor peer relationships, lying, and a destructive, impulsive, and manipulative nature. It is believed that children with reactive attachment disorder have the ability to form secure attachments, but this capacity has been compromised by their experiences early in life.
The secure babies used their mothers as a base to explore and as a protective safe haven. They were upset when the caregivers left but when they returned, they brought safety to the baby. Babies who had an avoidant attachment, didn’t want their caregiver upon return to the room. The caregivers for these babies may have been unresponsive to their signals of distress. Some babies were also classified as having resistant attachments, and tried kicking or arching their backs when comforted by the caregiver.
The experiment was done in a room with a one way glass to observe the infant. Different situations were given to the infant to determine the infant’s attachment style, the mother of the infant would leave the room and the infant would be left with the experimenter or the experimenter would leave the room and leave the mother and infant alone. How the infant reacts to the situation is used to determine the attachment style of the infant. Infants with secure attachment style would be distressed every time the mother would leave, the infant avoids the stranger when the mother leaves and when the mother returns the infant becomes happier. Infants with ambivalent attachment attachment style get distressed whenever the mother leaves, and avoids the stranger when left alone.
In the opposite direction, insecure attachments, has negative impact on child overall development for instance they are be able to manage their emotions or engage in reciprocal relationships. In a longitudinal study by Waters, Merrick, Treboux, & Albersheim (2000), they monitored 50 individuals over a period of 20 years found that there is a stable secured attachment over that period, with a greater percentile for individuals without any major negative life events, and less stable (less than 50%) for those who had experienced a major negative
Attachment is very important in a child’s life, but if a child is not attached to anyone it can make their future very hard. “Abused and neglected children (in or out of foster care) are at great risk for not forming healthy attachments to anyone. Having at least 1 adult who is devoted to and loves a child unconditionally, who is prepared to accept and value that child for a long time, is key to helping a child overcome the stress and trauma of abuse and neglect,” Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption and Dependent Care (2000). Developmental Issues for Young Children in Foster Care. AAP News & Journals Gateway.
Introduction. Children are biologically designed to form a secure attachment. Smyke and Potter (2011) describe a secure attachment as when a child feels accepted and valued by their caregiver, which is a process of the caregiver providing life-long comfort, support and protection for the child. When a child experiences maltreatment and social isolation from a caregiver the child develops a sense of danger which causes an "overwhelming sense of helpless, horror and terror" (Smyke and Potter, 2011). Examples of maltreatment may include a child living in institutional care or frequent placements while in the care of child and family services or when a child is left with random caregivers or the child is brought to a drug house by the parent
The Potential Buffering Role of Secure Attachments to Caregivers. Early Child Res Q. 27(1):156-165. *Tucker-Drob EM and Harden KP. 2013. Gene-by-preschool interaction on the development of early externalizing problems. J Child Psychol Psychiatry.”
Through factors such as cognitive development of the infant, attentive care and intimate interactions with a primary caregiver, the attachment relationship is created – shaping the infants- caregiver bond. By examining the interactions between an infant and their primary caregiver, we can identify secure, insecure and disorganized attachment (Ainsworth, 1978; Cassidy 1994); which can reveal a great deal about the relationship between the infant and attachment figure. Overall, the quality of attachment bonds formed in the early years can have long lasting effects on an infant’s emotional security and social competence; not only shaping their ability to form relationships, but laying the foundations for the social, emotional and mental development of the
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. However, those with a secure attachment style are highly invested in their relationships and tend to have long, stable ones that involve friendship, trust, and positivity (Hazan & Shaver,