John Bowlby (1907-1990) was a British Psychoanalyst, who went on to study medicine and enroll at the institute of psychoanalysis. Bowlby is famously known for his theories of attachment. The attachment theory first came into light after Bowlby sought to understand what caused infants such great distress when they were separated from their parents, and identify and discover the factors behind this.
Bowlby takes an evolutionary approach to his theory of attachment, believing that infants are born biologically programmed to form attachments with others as a method of survival, supporting the nurture debate. Bowlby believed that infants are born with the instinctive need to attach to one specific individual and though Bowlby did not rule out additional attachment figures for an infant, he did believe that there was a primary bond which was much more significant than any other, and this was usually with the mother.
Bowlby’s views of the attachment relationship between the mother and child acts as a model and foundation for all social relationships the infant may have in the future and introduces a sense of self for the infant. Disrupting this important attachment routine could lead to serious consequences in forming adult relationships later in life.
Bowlby argued that the attachment with the mother is by some means different and more important to every other attac...
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...ants and their caregivers is an extremely important connection that sets us up to become healthy, happy and trusting individuals in the future. Bowlby’s study, although somewhat criticized for his theory of monotropy, as in the world today it is extremely common for an infant to be equally raised by both the mother and father, and other family members. Bowlby also backed up this study with Lorenz’s imprinting theory (1935) a case study on ducklings which first off are hard to generalize, Bowlby was criticized for supporting his important theory of human infants with a study on Ducklings. There have been many studies of the secure attachment theory by notable theorists, and the theory is still being developed today. The attachment relationship remains an important topic in understanding infants, and exploring what links this may have to the behaviour of adults today.
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