Attachment Theory Essay

1784 Words8 Pages
Introduction John Bowlby developed his Attachment Theory to examine and explore the contextual relationships between a child and their caregiver and their behavioral repercussions. He describes it is “a way of conceptualizing the propensity of human beings to make strong affectional bonds to particular others and of explaining the many forms of emotional distress and personality disturbance, including anxiety, anger, depression, and emotional detachment, to which unwilling separation and loss give rise” (Bowlby, 1979, p. 127). An infant’s attachment to their primary caregiver establishes a sense of security, through protection, so the infant is able to explore the world with confidence and without threat and risk. During a child’s…show more content…
Next on the continuum of attachment styles, the insecure-anxious-ambivalent child displays an extreme reaction of distress to their caregiver’s departure and a slight inclination to explore. (Connors, 2011) Upon the return of their parent or caregiver, this child is not comforted and physically resists contact. Noted by Ainsworth in her “Strange Situation”, this child’s “interactive behaviors are relatively lacking in active initiation” (Ainsworth et al., 1978), meaning the child, seeking validation, might respond to the return of their parent but this generally includes emotional outbursts instead of taking an active approach to their parent. The insecure-avoidant pattern of attachment displays an infant who lacks a secure base and fails to respond to both the departure and return of their primary caregiver. (Ainsworth et al., 1978), Further, the “Strange Situation” displayed this child as turning away or “squirming” when contact was reestablished between child and caregiver (Connors, 2011). Finally, the later addition of the attachment pattern insecure-disorganized explains children who demonstrate a mixture of attachment behaviors. This child often responds to their caregiver with opposing actions, such as approach-avoidance, and displays a degree of fear associated with that caregiver; it is theorized that there is a direct correlation between abused children and this particular

More about Attachment Theory Essay

Open Document