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Individual differences in attachment
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Individual differences in attachment


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  • 1. Individual Differences in Attachment Types of attachment
  • 2. Mary Ainsworth Her method of assessing attachment was the strange situation Her typology :(classification system) Both of these are still •Secure used today•Insecure-Avoidant•Insecure-Resistant
  • 3. The Strange Situation – Ainsworth & Bell (1970) Aimed to investigate the individual differences inattachment by seeing how babies reacted in conditions of mild stress(created by separation from primary caregiver and the presence of a stranger) Observed through Observing video cameras Ainsworth & infants aged Bell used a Purpose built play between 12-18 room laboratory months using 2 chairs and play structured area observations 8 situations Mother, child and stranger
  • 4. The Strange SituationSeries Persons Brief Description 1 Mother & Infant Infant plays, mother sits and reads 2 Mother, Infant & Stranger Stranger enters & speak to mother 3 Mother, Infant & Stranger Stranger tries to interact with infant 4 Infant & Stranger Mother leaves, stranger comforts 5 Mother & Infant Mother returns, stranger leaves 6 Infant Mother leaves (baby alone in room) 7 Infant & Stranger Stranger enters to play/comfort infant 8 Mother & Infant Mother enters, stranger leaves
  • 5. What were they looking for?!1. Separation Anxiety 2. Stranger Anxiety Amount of distress Amount of distress shown when shown in response to caregiver briefly a stranger leaves 4. Willingness to3. Reunion Behaviour explore Behaviour on being Whether the infant reunited with feels they have a caregiver ‘secure base’ to explore environment
  • 6. What did they find?! Ainsworth et al identified 3 main attachment types Insecure-Avoidant(15%) Securely Attached (70%) Infant does not attempt to Infant explores the interact with mother, do notenvironment, using caregiver as show anxiety when left with secure base. Infant shows stranger. No reunion behaviour moderate distress when when mother returns, infantsseparated but is easily soothed, will explore but doesn’t infant is wary of stranger. orientate to mother Insecure-Resistant (15%) Infant is very distressed when separated, difficult to console onreunion. Infant rushes to mother but may show anger. Infant ignores stranger, limited exploration of environment
  • 7. Summarise Ainsworth’s findings Separation Stranger Reunion Behaviour Exploration Anxiety Anxiety Some but Enthusiastic, easy High Secure High (using Mother as easily soothed to soothe secure base) Avoids contact –Insecure- Indifferent Low doesn’t seek HighAvoidant contactInsecure- Distressed High Seeks and rejects LowResistant
  • 8. Ainsworth A02 - PositiveLots of detail For example, a huge quickly number of research studies into attachment behaviour adopt a longitudinal approach which can take months or even years to draw Why is this a conclusions good thing?
  • 9. Ainsworth A02 - NegativeLacks ecological What does this mean? validity For example, the ‘playroom’ environment in which the infant was interacting was both strange and unfamiliar to the infants Why is this a bad thing?
  • 10. Ainsworth A02 - NegativeEthical Issues For example, in episode 6 (which one is that?) 20% of the infants reportedly cried ‘desperately’, clearly showing their distress Why is this a bad thing?
  • 11. Ainsworth A02 - Negative The classification For example, Main &system doesn’t Solomon (1986) added a fit all infants fourth type ‘D’ attachment which was for babies who were inconsistent and clearly didn’t fit Ainsworth’s A, Why is this a bad B or C thing?
  • 12. Affects and Effects •Affecting factors in attachment types•Effect of attachment types on later life
  • 13. Factors that can affect the type of attachment Sensitivity Temperament Hypothesis Hypothesis
  • 14. Sensitivity Hypothesis The Mother Ainsworth argued that In contrast, mothers who mothers who were were less sensitive andsensitive to their infants’ responsive to their needs, who could read infants, who ignored themtheir moods/feelings and or were impatient were respond to them more likely to have effectively were more insecurely attachedlikely to produce securely infants attached infants
  • 15. Temperament Hypothesis The Infant According to this hypothesis, infants areKagan argued Ainsworth’s born with different explanation placed too individual characteristics much emphasis on the relating to how active, role of the mother and emotional and sociableignored the natural innate they are naturally.temperament of the child. It is this rather than the mother that dictates the attachment type
  • 16. How early attachment types shape adult behaviour AdultBehaviour at romantic school behaviour
  • 17. Behaviour at school Adult romantic behaviourChildren who are securely Hazen & Shaver (1987) – attached explore their The Luuuurvve Quiz environment more, are better able to deal withchallenging situations and Adults who were securely are more adept at attached as infants find it problem solving. relatively easy to get close to others and are comfortable depending on others and having others depend on them.Insecure-avoidant children Insecure avoidant adults are often develop behavioural uncomfortable being close toissues and lack persistence others. in learning