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Attachment Theory Developmental Psychology

Attachment Theory Developmental Psychology



A brief history and overview of attachment theory

A brief history and overview of attachment theory



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    Attachment Theory Developmental Psychology Attachment Theory Developmental Psychology Presentation Transcript

    • Attachment Theory
    • Attachment  Attachment : refers to the close, emotional bonds of affection that develop between infants and their caregivers.
    • The Formation of Attachment Theory  Psychology and medicine discouraged emotional affection and physical contact in the early 1900s.  Many Psychologists believed that emotional affection led to poor mental health.  Medical Practitioners noticed a relationship between physical contact and sickness.
    • The Formation of Attachment Theory  A researcher named Harry Harlow decided to evaluate how contact comfort influence the social development of a group of rhesus monkeys in the late 1950’s.
    • The Formation of Attachment Theory • Feed by wire mother • Feed by cloth mother
    • Attachment Theory  This research led John Bowlby to theorize that infants had a biological need for contact comfort (love).  Infants are biologically programmed to coo, smile, and flirt to get an emotional response from the caregiver (attachment).
    • Features of Attachment  Proximity Maintenance: the need to be physically close to the attachment figure  Seperation Anxiety: the emotional distress seen when separated from the attachment figure  Safe Haven: retreating to the attachment figure when scared  Secure Base: a feeling of being able to explore the world because of the dependability of the attachment figure
    • Types of Attachment  Mary Ainsworth, a colleague of Bowlby, expanded attachment theory by type (secure/insecure).  She developed each type through a series of observational studies called “ the strange situation.”
    • Secure Attachment  Babies will freely explore their environment and occasionally return to parent for comfort.  Babies will cry when parent leaves, but crying quickly stops when parent returns.  Most babies have a secure attachment to their caregiver (60%).
    • ( Insecure) Anxious-Ambivalent Attachment  Babies are reluctant to leave the side of the parent.  Babies show hostility toward parent upon return, often crying for extended periods.  About 10% of babies are found to have anxious-ambivalent attachment.
    • (Insecure) Avoidant Attachment  Babies show little interest in parent, often not crying when parent leaves.  Upon return, babies continue to show little interest and will not seek contact comfort.  About 15% of babies show an avoidant attachment.
    • (Insecure) Disorganized Attachment  Main and Solomon (1986)  Babies show no consistent reactions.  Both anxious-ambivalent and avoidant attachment are present.  Babies appear to make little, if any, eye contact.  About 15% of babies are found to have disorganized attachment.
    • Attachment and Personality Development  Secure: confident, trusting, friendly  Anxious-Ambivalent: jealous, not confident, underappreciated  Avoidant: suspicious, aloof, skeptical  Disorganized: moody, fearful, stress sensitivity
    • Interesting Controversy  On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep is a book written by Gary Ezzo (former MVCC student) and Robert Bucknam.  The book encouraged parents to “direct” the feeding, sleeping, and play activities of the newborn.  Attachment proponents became critical calming the book encouraged the disruption of the attachment process.
    • Guess The Attachment Style The Grinch Avoidant?
    • Guess the Attachment Style Lindsey Lohan Anxious-Ambivalent?
    • Guess the Attachment Style Dr. Phil Secure?
    • References • Ainsworth, M. D. S. (1968), Object relations, dependency, and attachment: A theoretical review of the infant mother relationship. Child Development, 40, 969-1025. • Bowlby, J. (1958), The nature of the child’s tie to his mother. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, XXXIX, 1-23. • Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Parent-child attachment and healthy human development. New York: Basic Books. • Ezzo, Gary; Bucknam, Robert (2007). On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep (4 ed.). Parent-Wise Solutions. • Harlow, H. F. (1958). The nature of love. American Psychologist, 13, 673-685 • Hinde, R. A. (1991). Relationships, attachment, and culture: A tribute to John Bowlby. Infant Mental Health Journal, 12, 154-163.