Evaluation of Bowlby’s explanation Lots of research support (empirical evidence). Imprinting in animals demonstrated by Lorenz is common. Strengths
Attachment is universal. Evidence that all children make attachments to the people that care for them. Tronick et al (1992) Tronick found that an African tribe with a very different child rearing system to Western societies still demonstrated one primary attachment. Strengths
Schaffer and Emerson (1964) The ‘Glasgow baby study’ supports Bowlby’s idea of monotropy and a hierachy of multiple attachments. Shaffer and Emerson found that western babies made lots of attachments but formed one main attachment often not with the person who fed them but with the person who responded quickly and sensitively to their needs.
The Minnesota longitudinal study Stroufe et al (2005) found evidence that backed up Bowlby’s claim that the type of attachment an infant had with it’s caregivers influenced later emotional and social behaviour. The continuity hypothesis
Evaluation of Bowlby’s explanation. Weaknesses Some psychologists argue Bowlby stressed the importance of one primary attachment figure at the expense of other important attachment figures such as fathers.
Rutter (1995) has proposed a multiple attachment model that sees all attachments as important and suggests that they all form the infants internal working model.
Some psychologists argue that the type of attachment an infant has with it’s caregivers is influenced by the infants personality and is not only due to the responsiveness and sensitivity of caregiving from adults. The temperament hypothesis.
Thomas and Chess (1977) have identified that babies have one of three basic personalities or temperaments. 1. Easy babies 2. Difficult babies. 3. Slow-to-warm-up babies.
Difficult and slow to warm up babies are harder to cope with and this affects the emotional bond they have with their caregivers. Kagan (1984) argues that the type of attachment an infant has with it’s caregivers depends mainly on the temperament of the child.
Belsky and Rovine (1987) found a link between the temperament of new born babies and later attachment type. Belsky and Rovine found that newborns catagorised as difficult were less likely to form a secure attachment to their caregivers.