Attachment Theory Of Attachment Between Parent Or Caregivers And The Infant

Attachment Theory Of Attachment Between Parent Or Caregivers And The Infant

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Attachment Theories

In reactive attachment disorder (RAD), normal healthy bonds between parent or caregivers and the infant are established or are broken (Bower & Atkins, 2012). Normally, by the eighth month of life, infants form emotional attachments to parents or caregivers: basic needs of affection, comfort, and nurturing are formed (Bower & Atkins, 2012; Davis & Palladino, 2004). There are many theories that serve to explain how healthy attachments are formed. However, this paper only considered three of them: two traditional attachment theories, and one contemporary attachment theory. Specifically it would be discussed John Bowlby’s ethological theory of attachment and Mary Ainsworth attachment theory as the traditional models. As contemporary model the modern regulation theory proposed by Judith Shore and Allan Shore would be presented.

John Bowlby developed the ethological theory of attachment; this theory indicates that attachment is an adaptive process (Davis & Palladino, 2004). Bowlby believed that attachment progresses because of its adaptive importance; infants are secure when parents or caregivers are close. Therefore, Bowlby’s theory falls on the continuum of continuity and change. Bowlby considered that attachment evolves through four stages: (1) preattchement (birth to 6 weeks): in this stage attachment has not taken place yet since infants do not mind being left with unknown adults; (2) beginnings of attachment (6 weeks to about 7 months): in this stage infants start to respond differently to identifiable adults, but do not complain if separated; (3) attachment (7 months to about 21 months: at this stage, attachment is evident to their caregivers. Babies express distress when their caregiver leaves. And (4) r...

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... (2001) indicate that the maturation of adaptive infant mental health is positively associated with the ongoing development of attachment experiences over the first year of an infant’s life. In this manner, the MRT is linked to continuity. This is because the experience-dependent maturation of the infant’s brain allows for the emergence of more complex functional capacities for coping with stressors, particularly those from its immediate social environment (Shore, 2001). On the other hand, Lyons-Ruth indicates that substantial phenotype discontinuity in the behavior of aggressive children from infancy to preschool or school age, with the disruption of attachment-related affects and behaviors in childhood characterized more strongly by the indicators of conflict, fear, impotence, dysphoria, and sequences of unpredictable behavior, than coercive behavior intrinsically.

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