Attachment Theory For Understanding Risk And Protection Factors Within Developmental Psychology

1940 Words8 Pages
This essay will comprises, firstly, on past research looking into what attachment/ attachment theory is, focusing on Bowlby’s (DATE) research into why an infant’s first attachment is so important. Followed, by the work of Ainsworth et al (1978) bringing to light the findings from the strange situation, and how the research can explain mental illness. From this and in-depth discussion looking at how the previously discussed pieces of research have an effect on two particular disorders, depression and anxiety; while keeping a holistic approach considering other variables within attachment theory which have been linked with the development of these disorders. Through-out, the applications of knowing about this potential link between…show more content…
This is more commonly known as the internal working model, and has been used explain how infants used this existing representation, to shape future interpretations relationships Hamilton (2000). Consequently, from a psychoanalyst perspective it is form these attachments which can from psychological disorders later in life. In addition, another large influence on attachment theory was Ainsworth (1978) and her work her work looking into the classification of attachment behaviour. Ainsworth et al (1978) was the first to empirically classify an infant’s attachment style, through the use of a series of consecutive separations and reunions, with an infant and their primary caregiver. This experiment is known as the Strange Situation (Ainsworth et al., 1978) and aimed to illustrate what “attachment style” a child’s behaviour fell under, during these separations and reunions. The findings highlighted three main attachment styles. Securely attached (type A), the child is distressed during separation, however is easily comforted by care giver on reunion. Insecure Avoidant (type B), the child ignores or does not respond when reunited with care giver after separation. Anxious/ Ambivalent (type C) infant is not soothed by caregiver after during reunion after separation. Later a fourth attachment style was added by Main and Solomon (1986) disorganised (type D), the child shows no clear attachment behaviour. It is believed that from these attachment styles, disorders can
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