Attachment Theory And Attachment Theory

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Attachment plays an important role in the early development and influences many later life experiences. Attachment theory originated in theoretical work by John Bowlby, and was further developed by Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991; Bretherton, 1992). Bowlby defined attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings” (Bowlby, 1969, p. 194). Both Bowlby (1969) and Ainsworth (1979) believed that the attachment formed between children and their mothers has a long-lasting effect; the early experiences shape the beliefs and expectations about the self and important others and influence thought, emotion and behaviour and guide future expectations of others in adult relationships. Attachment theory is regarded as one of the most significant and influential post-Freudian psychodynamic theories (Cervone & Pervin, 2014, p. 148). The pervasive and enduring effect of the early child-caregiver affectional bond is a widely researched area in psychology today and is being associated with a number of human behaviours, such as coping strategies (Mikulincer, Florian, & Weller, 1993) emotion…show more content…
Bowlby’s theoretical interest rooted in ethology, cybernetics, developmental psychology, psychoanalysis and information processing (Bretherton, 1992). Despite being a Kleinian analyst, Bowlby did not share the same beliefs with Klein and criticized psychoanalysts for their preoccupation with a child’s internal fantasy life and ignoring the actual external events in the child’s life (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991). Bowlby instead focused on the empirical observation of the child-parent interaction and the role it plays in the development of the child’s personality (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991; Bretherton, 1992). Ainsworth’s research on defining infant attachment patterns lent empirical support to Bowlby’s theoretical constructions (Ainsworth & Bowlby,

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