Developmental Psychology: Attachment

1476 Words6 Pages
Attachment is the formation of a two-way emotional bond between a child and an adult caregiver. It is an important part of developmental psychology, which is concerned with reasons and causes for human behaviour, addressing both nurture and nature aspects of childrearing. John Bowlby (1907-1990) is a key psychologist involved in the studies and theories concerning attachment. He summarised his point and the reason for attachment as follows:

Based on the above, this essay intends to focus on Bowlby’s work which set out to discover links between early separation and later maladjustment through his ‘maternal deprivation hypothesis.’ This will include the reasons and importance of attachment, leading to correlations between a child’s attachment status and their behaviour in adulthood, in particular any delinquency or emotional maladjustment as a result of deprivation. It will take into consideration various studies which potentially weaken or strengthen his claims, whilst considering the ethical issues and ecological validity of the various studies.
Many of Bowlby’s studies were on children who had suffered deprivation and this research led him to various concerns regarding attachment deprivation. He suggested there is a link between prolonged separation and lack of social conscience, which he advised could take the form of aggression, depression, dependency anxiety and intellectual retardation amongst other ill-effects.
Bowlby states the main purpose of attachment is for survival, with security and comfort being a bonus. Through inspiration taken from Freud’s ‘innate’ concept, Bowlby developed explanations for attachment. In 1969, he revealed his monotropism theory, whereby children are born with an innate willing for...

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...l group. This group may also have been subject to a biased sample, as during the adoption selection process children with better temperaments would have a better chance of being chosen by a foster family.
In conclusion, there are many studies to which give balance to Bowlby’s theories, but they do not entirely take away from his results, as his findings have been a basis for attachment psychologists to build upon and adapt. More importantly, Bowlby’s findings lead to the World Health Organisation commissioning a report, by Bowlby in 1951. It was concerning the mental health issues of homeless children in post-war Europe, titled “Maternal Care and Mental Health,” which created:

Works Cited

Psychology, the science of mind and behaviour, Richard Gross.
Psychology AS, The complete companion, cardwell and flanagan.
Hilgard's introduction to psychology, atkinson
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