Individual Differences in Attachment Types of attachment
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
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
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
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
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
Ainsworth A02 - Positive The strange situation is a For example, a study inreliable method Germany found that 78% of children were classified in the same way at ages 1 and 6 years old Why is this a good thing?
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?
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?
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?
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