The Origins of Attachment Theory Attachment Theory – the idea that children need to develop a safe and secure attachment to a parent or caregiver in order to develop and thrive – was introduced by an English psychiatrist named John Bowlby in the 1950s (Cortina, 2011). Bowlby knew all about the importance of attachments because he never had one to either of his parents. Bowlby grew up in an age that thought that paying attention to children would spoil them, so Bowlby’s upper class parents spent as little time with him each day as they could, and when he was seven, they sent him off to boarding school. But even if they had not thought that spending time with children would spoil them, his parents still could not have spent much time with …show more content…
It is a natural tendency to seek and maintain closeness with a caregiver, both physically and emotionally. According to Bowlby, a secure attachment with a caregiver gives a child a safe base from which to explore the world (McLeod, 2009) Bowlby believed that children have an innate need to develop a close relationship with one main figure, usually the mother. When they do not, it has negative consequences on their development. It may cause depression, aggression, delinquency, and a decline in intelligence. Attachment occurs in stages. The first stage is pre-attachment, which occurs from birth to 6 weeks. During this stage newborns get an adult’s attention through smiling, crying, babbling, and making eye (Divecha, 2017). Although, they are not attached to their mother yet, they feel soothed and calm when they are carried by her or feel her presence (Divecha 2017). The second stage occurs between 6 weeks and eight months. The infant begins to develop trust in his or her mother and relies on her all of the time. When the child is comforted by the mother, they begin to smile because they feel trust (Divecha, 2017). The infant loves the company of their parent or caregiver and gets distressed when attention is not given to them (McLeod, …show more content…
The most important attachment is with the mother, but children can form attachments with others as well. There are many ways teachers can influence an insecurely attached child’s behavior. Teachers can create a structured environment with extremely consistent rules, being consistent and specific when giving praise or seeing poor behavior, and providing the child with choices. Students can also receive choices from the teacher. For example, I give my students choices at work every day with the use of visuals: “Would you like cereal or a bagel? Choose one”. As a teacher, I always keep their calm in the classroom setting and avoid losing their
Attachment theory could be considered one of the most important aspects of how we develop starting out as an infant. In the article “Can Attachment Theory Explain All Our Relationships” By: Bethany Saltman, she explains to us her personal experience and struggles raising her daughter, and her experience as a child and her own attachment. There are three types of attachment types, secure, avoidant, and resistant and the trouble with today is that only 60% of people are considered “secure”. There also subgroups that are called disorganization. Attachment will often pass generation to generation, so it is likely that if someone has an insecure attachment because of the way they were raised they will struggle to create a secure attachment for their own children. Although it can be reversed and changed with the
...s one with the knowledge necessary to incorporate methods for evoking change and empathize. It becomes easier to understand how certain maladaptive behaviors are developed as certain characteristics are learned patterns and not solely based on one’s personality. There are very many areas of attachment that need to be studied. As the population of minorities, working mothers, single parent homes, and children in the foster care system rise the ability to assess their ability to attach as well as develop new attachments is crucial. The works by Bowlby, Ainsworth, and Main have provided me with new interest in the attachment styles of children to their caregivers. It has allowed me to adjust the way in which I interact with my own daughter and other children in my presence to help establish new and beneficial adult attachments so that they can grow and feel empowered.
Modern Attachment Theory is in integration of Bowlby’s attachment Theory and neurobiology. This theory not only focuses on the attachment the child has with the parents but how that attachment can impact the development of brain. According to this theory, attachment is crucial to the development of the right brain, which is described as the neurobiological core of human unconsciousness. The right brain also controls neurobiological symptoms such as the processing of emption and self-regulation (Schore & Schore, 2007). Attachment in early childhood determines how an individual will attach to others later in life (Berzoff, Flanagan, & Hertz, 2011).
The child that has developed a good, strong infant-mother attachment can easily explore their world due to the confidence gained in infancy. And exploration means their cognitive and emotional skills will develop naturally through just playing like a child should. The child not given this all important mother-child bond will severely lack the ability to learn and explore. Plus, it will lead to a life-long disability as a struggling adult. The emotional development (or lack of) alone can be very detrimental when the adult child is seeking friends and eventually an intimate relationship. For a child that has developed a secure infant-mother attachment the child is confident, less aggressive, more interested in exploration and able to problem solve (Diessner, 2008).
The attachment process plays a crucial role in a child’s development and their future impact on society According to Dr Suzanne Zeedyk. Children can’t feel relaxed and safe with the adults & children in the nursery until they get to know them. If there’s a lack of affection towards a child they may be reluctant to take advantage of all the learning opportunities because of their anxiety. We now know that relationships literally shape the neural connections in young children’s brains. This means everything that happens or doesn’t happen for the child will leaves a physiological trace in their growing brain. According to Dr Suzanne
Criticisms of attachment theory have come mainly from the feminist schools of thought since the theory has been used to argue that no woman with a young child should work outside the home or spend time away from her baby (Goodsell and Meldrum, 2010). Children’s experience and development also depend on what happens after early years, whether bad or good later in life may change a child’s emotional development, e.g. lack of basic needs, diet, education, stimulation such as play might affect a child’s development (Rutter, 1981) Difference in cultures have to be taken into consideration as well. A study by Schaffer and Emmerson (1964) provided contradictory evidence from Bowlby’s attachment theory. They noted attachment was more prominent at eight months, and afterwards children became attached to more than one person. By one year six months only 13%of infants had one attachment. This study by Schafer and Emmerson (1964) concluded care giver can be male or female and mothering can be a shared responsibility. Social workers should therefore understand that parents are not totally responsible for the way the children develop. They did give them their genes and therefore do have some influence. Attachment theory also fails to consider the fact that the father and siblings, and other close relatives can also
...n infant will form attachments for more than purely the need for food and that they crave care, comfort and safety. These early attachment theories prove that an infant needs a loving and protective relationship with a parent or primary caregiver and this relationship will continue to develop into childhood and may possibly have an impact in later life.
According to (Pittman, Keiley, & Kerpelman, 2011), Bowlby theorized that it is the interactions between people that form connections and develop attachments. There are four different types of attachments; secure, avoidant, and anxious ambivalent. When we look at this theory applied to children we see that a secure attachment is when children are most comfortable when their parents are around and are easy to soothe by the parents. Insecure or avoidant attachment is when the child doesn’t prefer to be near the parents and could care less if the parents are absent. This happened when the parents failed to meet their child’s needs, despite a child expressing their needs. Anxious ambivalent attachment is when the child won’t leave their parents side, even if it is to explore their surroundings, is distraught if the parents leave, and mistrusting if the parents try to comfort after leaving (Arnett, & Maynard,
Bowlby 's attachment theory is used a lot in settings as children gain strong bonds with the teachers and key workers in the setting. Having a secure attachment in the setting can have a variety of positive or negative impacts on the child depending on how emotionally attached they are. A strength of the attachment theory is that by children gaining attachment with their key worker it can help the practitioner support the child and meet their needs in the setting. By a child having an attachment to their key worker it can help their development as they are more engaged with the staff. Again research has shown that the quality of a child’s learning and the development of resilience can depend on the quality of their relationships both with their
The attachment theory, presented by Mary Ainsworth in 1969 and emerged by John Bowlby suggests that the human infant has a need for a relationship with an adult caregiver, and without a subsequent, development can be negatively impacted (Hammonds 2012). Ainsworth proposes that the type of relationship and “attachment” an infant has with the caregiver, can impact the social development of the infant. As stated by Hammonds (2012), attachment between a mother and a child can have a great impact on the child 's future mental
...cal, emotional, and cognitive development for the child. The warmth and empathy shown to the child helps the child develop at a normative rate. While the attachment is important during infancy, it is also important to maintain the attachment throughout adolescence. Children who continue to share a secure attachment with the parent oftentimes have an easier time making friends and working through social issues (cite).
Attachment is an important aspect through the developmental stages of a child. It is the process through which an individual develops specific bonds with others (). John Bowlby theorized Attachment Theory, which focuses on a behavioral system that demonstrates the response of an adult when a child signals which can lead to a strong trusting relationship (). Through attachment infants develop strong emotional bonds with others, which can result in a more positive outcome later in life.
Psychologist, Mary Ainsworth expanded upon Bowlby's original work. She conducted a study labelled the ‘Strange Situation’. In the study, based upon the children’s reactions, Ainsworth described three major styles of attachment: secure attachment, ambivalent-insecure attachment, and avoidant-insecure attachment. Work by Stroufe and Waters in 1977, further supported Ainsworth's attachment styles and have indicated that attachment styles also have an impact on behaviours later in life (Birns, 1999, p. 13). Researchers have found strengths in attachment patterns established early in life can lead to a number of outcomes. For example, children who are securely attached as infants tend to develop stronger self-esteem and better self-reliance as they grow older. These children also tend to be more independent, perform better in school, have successful social relationships, and experience less depression and anxiety (Birns, 1999, p. 13).
John Bowlby’s attachment theory established that an infant’s earliest relationship with their primary caregiver or mother shaped their later development and characterized their human life, “from the cradle to the grave” (Bowlby, 1979, p. 129). The attachment style that an infant develops with their parent later reflects on their self-esteem, well-being and the romantic relationships that they form. Bowlby’s attachment theory had extensive research done by Mary Ainsworth, who studied the mother-infant interactions specifically regarding the theme of an infant’s exploration of their surrounding and the separation from their mother in an experiment called the strange situation. Ainsworth defined the four attachment styles: secure, insecure/resistant, insecure/avoidant and disorganized/disoriented, later leading to research studies done to observe this behavior and how it affects a child in their adolescence and adulthood.