The Attachment Theory Essay

The Attachment Theory Essay

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The Attachment theory is a psychological, ethological and evolutionary theory that gives a descriptive and explanatory framework of understanding interpersonal relationship between human beings. Presented by John Bowlby, the important tenet of this theory is that an infant needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to progress generally.
The idea of attachment theory is that infants become attached to adults who are sensitive and responsive in social relationships with them, and who remain consistent caregivers for some months during the period of early six months to two/three years of age.
In the early days Bowlby was criticized by academic psychologists and also ostracized by the psychoanalytic community but, attachment theory has become a dominant approach in understanding social development and giving rise of empirical research into the formation of children’s close relationships.

The child that is observed for this paper is my nephew aged 5 years. He is currently in grade 1 possessing few characteristics of anxious ambivalent (discussed in history) child.






History
After graduating from the University of Cambridge in 1928, Bowlby performed volunteer work at a school for disturbed children while reconsidering his career goals. His experiences with two children at the school set his professional life on course. One was a very isolated, remote, affectionless teenager who had been expelled from his previous school for theft and had had no stable mother figure. The second child was an anxious boy of 7 or 8 who trailed Bowlby around and who was known as his shadow (Ainsworth, 1974). Persuaded by this experience of the effects of early family relationshi...


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...hown that early childhood attachment is necessary for the healthy development of child. Children are needed to have a sense of security so that they can grow up to be healthy and productive adults but if there is lack of attachment with them, they are at the higher rate of risk of developing social, emotional or behavioral problems in childhood or adolescent. Insecure attachment has been developed because the primary caregiver (mother) had not consistently responded to him in warm, affectionate, loving, dependable and sensitive way. Such babies are more likely to develop a mental representation of world as hostile or uncaring leading them to many psychological disorders. Teenagers who have not developed secure attachment tends to be open to depression and anxiety and they are more likely to get involved in drug abuse and antisocial/sexual activities. (Doyle, 2000)

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