Bowlby’s attachment theory has greatly influenced practice. His theory of attachment explains the importance of having a figure that the child shares a strong bond with. Having an attachment can significantly support a child’s development as Barbara Woods suggests that “his theory of attachment proposed that attachment is innate in both infants and mothers, and that the formation of this attachment is crucial for the infants development” Wood, B (2001, p.53). Bowlby believed that forming an attachment will help a child develop in all areas e.g. emotionally, physical and mentally. However if they did not form an attachment in the sensitive period, the child may have issues or problems in their cognitive, emotional and social development.
John Bowlby’s work in attachment has been the foundation when determining the attcahments and bonds that a child and parent may experience (Webb, 2011). According to Bowlby, “attachment” is referring to a lasting, mutual bond of affection that is dependent on an individual or more than one person (Webb, 2011). Establishing a secure attachment during infancy and early childhood is an important task of a parent or a caregiver. Not all parents or caregivers can provide their child with a secure attachment at this important in life due to various reasons. Since parents are the main providers in their child’s development of attachment, their lives and history has a great influence on their children’s lives.
Ainsworth (1978) developed the Strange Situation Theory, which is how one is able to view the different levels of attachment (Groh, Roisman, Booth-LaForce, Flaley, Owen, Cox, & Burchinal, 2014). The first attachment is secure attachment, which is when a child is able to greet and seek out contact with the caregiver upon arrival after a stressful separation (Haltigan & Roisman, 2015). The next is anxious-avoidant/resistant (insecure) attachment, when the child has no want to contact with the caregiver while showing signs of resistance upon the return (Haltigan & Roisman, 2015). The last and the most crucial to child development is disoriented/ disorganized attachment; conflicting responses from the child which show hostile and aggressive behavior toward the caregiver (Haltigan & Roisman, 2015). All of these attachements show the different types of ways that a child can communicate with their caregiver. These actions are the representations of their early attachment and experiences with the caregiver (Siebert & Kerns, 2015). If there are no changes toward the environment, the attention
Infants with secure attachment feel comfortable and confident separating from their caregiver. In the toddler 's eyes, their caregiver is a base for exploration that provides assurance and enables experiences of discovery. Infants with secure
Bowlby said that early attachment was crucial to a child’s healthy mental development & this is a key part for how they build relationships later on in life. He said that children are influenced the most by the relationship with their primary carer (mainly mother). For the 1st 6 months of a babies life they have a need to attach to one main person. This is called the monotropic attachment. He also said that a child should be cared for by the same person for the first 2 years of their life as any kind of disruption would lead to lasting effects of their development. E.g. depression & antisocial behaviour. He then changes what he said and stated that children were capable of forming multiple attachments and it was important for them to build
A healthy or secure attachment develops over time because of a caregiver’s consistent, sensitive care that they have towards a young child. Each time a caregiver interacts in ways that focus fully on the individual child, it furthers connections. When a caregiver attempts to read a baby’s cues and tries to respond to the child’s needs and wishes, the baby learns the caregiver is a source of comfort and security. Children with secure attachments learn that their world is a safe place because the people in it are caring and understanding. They also learn that their ways of communicating result in others responding and understanding them. This reinforces their efforts to continue to express themselves to others. Consistent back-and-forth exchanges that happen over time are one of the ways to build positive relationships. Children with secure attachments feel confident in exploring their environment, which allows them to learn. It’s the accumulation of intimacy during these numerous interactions that turns ordinary tasks into a relationship-based curriculum.
Bowlby explored a wide range of fields in order to formulate the attachment theory which includes psychoanalysis, control system theory, evolutionary biology, ethology and cognitive psychology. Bowlby became concerned about the disturbance of children in understaffed orphanages and nurseries as they were not provided with much emotional interaction, so the children showed an inability to form close and long lasting relationships with others which seemed to Bowlby that they were unable to love because they had missed their opportunity to form solid attachment to a mother figure in early life. In 1948, World Health Organization commissioned Bowlby to conduct the research evidence on such institutional deprivation. In 1951, Bowlby put forward his hypothesis in Maternal Care and Mental Health that
Bowlby believed that babes had have built in social releasers that help form attachment, for example, crying and smiling. These would stimulate responses in caregivers. Bowlby also suggested that the infant would form only one primary attachment, and that this attachment would act as a secure base for exploring the world. This theory was also backed up by Mary Ainsworth ‘The Strange Situation’, Eysenck (2000). Another conclusion in Bowlbys attachment theory was that there was a sensitive period; a period were imprinting was important. This would affect attachment and have lifelong consequences. He
Having a secure bond of attachment to another person is regarded as a foundation for successful social and emotional development. “It has been observed that children with secure attachments are more socially competent than those with insecure attachment” (Neaum. S. 2010). By the child having formed secured relationships it enables them to engage with the world with a sense of confidence and self-esteem. children who have secure attachments are also known to show more co-operative behaviour.
Secure attachment is commonly considered the healthiest style of attachment. This bond results when a caregiver responds to the child’s needs in an appropriate manner. The child will learn that the caregiver will be responsive and available (Romero). When parents provide a safe and secure environment, a child can build a nurturing relationship. Most of all, a child will simply feel valued and loved (Greenberg; Romero).
Bowlby’s Ethological Theory of Attachment, first we have to understand that attachment is a bond between two people, which can give them comfort and pleasure by being connected. During the study they wanted to recognize the emotional tie from the child to the mother/caregiver evolved. Some examples of attachment are when a child who is scared clings to their caregiver, or when an infant smiles as the caregiver walks into the room. Bowlby’s theory is that children are born with a set of built in behaviors that will help to keep the caregiver/parent close for safety and support. He also believes that a child needs that single focus from that one main person for the first two years of their life in order to form the proper attachments.
An infant with a secure attachment style has a natural bond with their parent, where they are able to trust them, at the same time leaving their side to discover and explore their surroundings. In an insecure/resistant attachment the relationship the child has with their mother or caregiver is very clingy, thus making them very upset once the caregiver is away. When the mother or caregiver is back they are not easily comforted and resist their effort in comforting them. In an insecure/avoidant attachment the infant is, “indifferent and seems to avoid the mother, they are as easily comforted by a stranger, as by their parent” (Siegler 2011, p.429). Lastly, the disorganized/disoriented attachment is another insecure attachment style in which the infant has no way of coping with stress making their behavior confusing or contradictory. Through these brief descriptions of the attachment theory, many researchers have defined the turning point in which each attachment definition can have an influence on one’s self esteem, well-being and their marital relationship.
These characteristics are well demonstrated in Mary Ainsworth’s experiment of the “strange situation.” Researcher Chris Fraley describes the study as, “a group of 12 month-old infants and their parents are brought in to the laboratory and, systematically separated from and reunited with one another.” Approximately 58 percent of the children demonstrated characteristics of secure attachment. When the parent left the room the child displayed signs of distress with a need to be close to the attachment figure. When the parent returned to the room, the child eagerly approached
The relationship between security of attachment and cognitive development creates the underlying foundation from which individual’s operate throughout the lifespan (Carruth, 2006). The security of attachment between an infant and their primary caregiver can have profound consequences for the developing brain, impacting an infant’s future relationships, self-esteem, and ability to self-regulate emotions (Carruth, 2006). Attachment theory, first theorized by John Bowlby (1988), stresses the significance of secure attachments in relation to cognitive development. Secure attachment is correlated with a decrease in high risk behaviors, fewer mental health issues, positive coping strategies, and healthy social skills (Burkett & Young, 2012
Attachment is the foundation for a strong relationship between caregivers and children. Children usually become attached to the person who cares for them most often during their first year of life. There is secure and insecure attachment which can affect a child and their future.