Essay on Attachment Theory As Defined By Harris And White

Essay on Attachment Theory As Defined By Harris And White

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Attachment theory as defined by Harris and White (2013) examines the connection between infants and young children to their caregivers. Studying attachment is important in understanding behavior because it develops at such a young age and has an influence on all future relationships including dysfunctional family connections, challenges to adolescent peer relationships (Iwaniec & Sneddon, 2001; Reyome, 2010; ). As identified by Ainsworth (1982), there are three categories of attachment which include secure, avoidant, and anxious/ambivalent. In 1990, Main and Solomon concluded that a fourth category should be noted which they identified as being disorganized/disoriented. These different styles of attachment are theorized to have long-term effects that may influence the child’s future relationships such as how that person interacts with others, how they interact with romantic partners, and how they experience relationships and cope with difficult situations (Iwaniec & Sneddon, 2001). When a child has a secure attachment to a caregiver in their early years, they use this relationship as a model and they begin to build expectations based on this relationship. However, some theorists have questioned whether this is testable and whether children younger than 1 year even have the cognitive ability to form such notions about the outside world (Hinde, 1988). A secure attachment is seen when the child feels that the caregivers are there for it consistently with support and an emotional investment in the child’s well-being. An insecure attachment, either anxious or avoidant, develops when the child does not feel that sense of security and consistency from the caregiver. A disorganized attachment is usually seen in the case of a neglectful ...


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...g to this study, indicate the CBCL as a much more reliable tool for measurement and assessment of specific pathologies.

Finally, Peluso et. al. (2009) examine the similarities between infant and adult attachment, “mental schemas serve as a foundation for the expectations and beliefs from which individuals operate in their close relationships in adulthood” (p. 394). This study utilizes the BASIS-A Inventory (Basic Alderian Scales for Interpersonal Success-

Adult), a multidimensional tool used to measure a concept of lifestyle. This instrument was also found to have validity in providing information that can assist attachment theorists in understanding individual differences in their attachment style (pp. 401). This scale asks participants about the perception they have of their own childhood, relationships to family members, and the perceptions of family dynamics.

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