Attachment can be characterised by specific behaviour in children, such as seeking proximity with their attachment figure when upset or threatened. Attachment theory offers an understanding of personality development and behaviour in close relationships and provides and account of the differences in peoples emotional and relationship styles. In its earliest form attachment theory concentrated on the quality of relationships between children and their caregiver, however it has since been developed to cover the lifespan (Howe, 2000, p 97).Attachment theory draws insight from evolutionary theory, ethology, systems theory as well as psychodynamic perspectives of developmental psychology. Attachment theory originates from child psychologist John Bowlby who first introduced the interdisciplinary perspective to the study of children and their emotional development. Bowlby worked as a child psychiatrist where he encountered many emotionally disturbed children.
Finally, it will explore the shift in paradigms from cognitive psychology to neuropsychology and look at how attachment communication between primary caregiver and infant influences the imprinting of the orbitofrontal cortex. Bowlby was concerned with issues such as: separation distress and the effect of ‘maternal deprivation’ on later development. He argued that maternal separation was a traumatic experience for infants and if infants unsuccessfully established a secure attachment by the age of three they could become pathological and suffer psychological problems (Burman, 1994). Bowlby’s theory was independent on ethology and he was largely associated with Harry Harlow and his experiments with rhesus monkeys (Burman, 1994) and Lorenz’s (1935) research on imprinting on geese. Bowlby’s idea was to draw a comparison between ethology and infants.
This paper will firstly describe the essential features of the attachment theory followed by a critical evaluation of John Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis. An examination will be made of the work carried out by Mary Ainsworth (1978) on the nature of attachment relationships and finally an evaluation of the ways in which these theories and research implicate different forms of childcare will be explored. John Bowlby (1930-80), was the key figure in the development of attachment theory; the theory that children have a drive to feel secure by forming an emotional bond with a primary care giver. Bowlby (1951) developed his theory of maternal deprivation based on research he carried out on juvenile delinquents who had experienced long periods of separation from their primary care giver in the first few years of their lives. What he concluded based on that research was that maternal deprivation could seriously affect the mental health of a child and moreover that an infant’s failure t... ... middle of paper ... ... (2001) Child Development, New York, McGraw-Hill Stevenson, J. and Oates, J (1994) ‘Infant Individuality’ in Oates, J.
Subsequent research has based measuring security and insecurity in a child from an early age using the Strange Situation Test. Other research has shown certain trends of difficult behaviour and how the child interacts with the caregiver actively. Bowlby’s theory was based on ideas from ethology and previous work, psychodynamic theory by Sigmund Freud, it was appropriate for the 1950’s after the 2nd World War when women were returning to household duties and motherhood as men returned to their employment after the war. He believed that a child should have interaction with one caregiver ‘monotropism’ and that separation from this person would trigger the ‘proximity promoting behaviours’ in the attachment structure. The caregiver arriving would cause the behaviours of, clinging, making noises and crying to discontinue.
As I review the attachment theory there are other theorist who have worked together or reconstructed studies that gravitate to some of the same thoughts. Bowbly was a theorist that focused on the attachment theory. Him and Blatt worked together, and conducted research on the influences of attachments on individuals and their wellbeing from infants to adults. Within his research Schore and Schore (2008), they suggest that the real relationships of the earliest stages of life indelibly shape our survival functions in basic ways, and that for the rest of the life span attachment processes lie at the center of the human experience. Through Schores’ research conducted in a study about parent-infant communication, it explains that the interactive creation of an attachment bond of affective communication between the psycho biologically attuned primary caregiver and the infant is central to human emotional development.
Child Psychology I. Purpose of paper: Child Psychology, study of children’s behavior-including physical, cognitive, motor, linguistic, perceptual, social, and emotional characteristics-from birth through adolescence. Child psychologists attempt to explain the similarities and differences among children and to describe normal as well as abnormal behavior and development. They also develop methods of treating social, emotional, and learning problems and provide therapy privately and in schools, hospitals, and other institutions. Two critical problems for child psychologists are (1) to determine how environmental variables (such as parental attitudes) and biological characteristics (such as health) interact and influence behavior, and (2) to understand how behavioral changes influence one another.
Whereas the children with the other attachment styles can have a low self-esteem and experience anxiety, resulting in not successfully developing, socially and emotionally. In conclusion I have provided an explanation of what the attachment theory is and stated who the most significant psychologists that explored this idea are and how they studied it. I have presented substantial studies that psychologists use to measure the attachment between an infant and the primary care giver and revealed their conclusion to attachment styles affecting an adult’s social and emotional development.
In addition, attachment theorists like Mary Ainsworth (1978) and John Bowlby (1969), however, suggested that maternal sensitivity and responsiveness from the caregiver mantles the infant’s temperament that is the determinant of attachment (Coffman et al., 1995). In this essay, considering the above mentioned, the essay will explore whether the antecedents on attachment are based on goodness of fit that consist of the infant’s in-born temperament and maternal perception caused by parenting style, or that it lies mainly from maternal sensitivity to the infant, and lastly, the association between infant’s temperament and maternal sensitivity and responsiveness. Indications have shown that the infant’s temperament holds significance in affecting maternal perception which is influenced by maternal characteristic, thereby, leading to the outcome of attachment (Pauli-Pott, Mertesacker, Bade, Haverkock, Beckmann, 2003). Through the c... ... middle of paper ... ...future research can involve an equal number of mothers from different social background to compare. In search of the association between both infant temperament and maternal sensitivity of what was thought to be of independent factors, a closer relation can be observed between them through the above discussion.
Mary Ainsworth, a student of Bowlby, played a critical role in expanding on this theory. Their collaboration led to their proposing that there were several different attachment ‘styles,’ and that these styles had direct consequences for the child that could be predicted and categorized. Ainsworth later developed the Strange Situation Procedure, which was a way of assessing differences in attachment behavior. Attachment Characteristics Att... ... middle of paper ... ...ors with this style. Children who exhibit the ambivalent style of attachment are at high risk for depression and other internalizing disorders.
Developmental Views of Parenting Style and Effectiveness Parenting effectiveness and influence have been studied by developmental psychologists who have been interested in the role of parenting and how it may affect the success or failure of children. An important aspect to this area of research is parenting styles. There have been four styles noted and each may have differing outcomes for the children in later life: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and unengaged/uninvolved. Positive discipline and corporal punishment are ways parents may choose to respond to a child?s misbehavior. Usually corporal punishment is identified with the authoritative style and positive discipline with the authoritarian style.