The Significance of Early Attachments for Later Peer Relationships and Adjustment

The Significance of Early Attachments for Later Peer Relationships and Adjustment

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The Significance of Early Attachments for Later Peer Relationships and Adjustment

Attachment is a key area when studying the development of children.
Attachment is a secondary drive that is derived from primary drives
such as hunger. When a child is hungry they want feeding, this is the
primary drive, they look to the mother for food, she provides it and
the attachment made is the secondary drive. There are many different
approaches, studies and theories concerned with attachment. I intend
to look at the attachment stages, categories of secure and insecure
attachment, theories of attachment, maternal deprivation and privation
and the ways in which they may affect later peer relationships and
adjustment. Overall I will discuss whether attachment in the first
years of life is significant in determining later peer relationships
and adjustment.

According to Shaffer (1993) an attachment is:

"A close emotional relationship between two persons characterised

by mutual affection and a desire to maintain proximity."

Within the first year of life a child is said to go through three
stages of attachment. The first occurs between 0-6 weeks, in this time
the child's smiling or crying is not directed at any particular
individual. During the second stage, which is between 6 weeks and
Seven months of age, the child seeks attention from different
individuals; this is the indiscriminate attachment stage and is
followed by the specific attachments stage, which occurs between 7 and
11 months old. In this last stage the child develops a strong
attachment towards one individual, which is usually the mother. It is
these stages that most theorists...

... middle of paper ...

...le. New Jersey.

Bee, H. (2000). The Developing Child. (9th Ed). Allyn and Bacon.

Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: parent-child attachment and healthy
human development. Routledge. London.

Eysenck, M.W. (2000). Psychology: A Students Handbook. Psychology
Press. East Sussex.

Goldberg, S. (2000). Attachment and Development. Arnold. London.

Gross, R. (1996). Psychology: The science of mind and behaviour.
Hodder and Stoughton. London.

Holmes, J. (1993). John Bowlby and attachment theory. Routledge.


Bretherton, I. (1992). Origins of attachment theory: John Bowlby and
Mary Ainsworth. Developmental Psychology ( p759-775).


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