Attachment Theory

886 Words Mar 15th, 2014 4 Pages
Attachment Theory
The Attachment theory is focused on the relationships and bonds between people, particularly long-term relationships including those between a parent and child and between romantic partners. Attachment is an emotional bond to another person. Psychologist John Bowlby (1969, 1988) was the first attachment theorist, describing attachment as a "lasting psychological connectedness between human beings." Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. He suggested attachment also serves to keep the infant close to the mother, thus improving the child 's chances of survival. The central theme of attachment theory is that primary
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The infant produces innate ‘social releaser’ behaviours such as crying and smiling that stimulate care giving from adults. The determinant of attachment is not food but care and responsiveness. Bowlby suggested that a child would initially form only one attachment and that the attachment figure acted as a secure base for exploring the world. The attachment relationship acts as a prototype for all future social relationships so disrupting it can have severe consequences. Although Bowlby did not rule out the possibility of other attachment figures for a child, he did believe that there should be a primary bond which was much more important than any other (usually the mother). Bowlby believes that this attachment is different in kind (qualitatively different) from any subsequent attachments. Bowlby argues that the relationship with the mother is somehow different altogether from other relationships. Essentially, Bowlby suggested that the nature of monotropy (attachment conceptualized as being a vital and close bond with just one attachment figure) meant that a failure to initiate, or a breakdown of, the maternal attachment would lead to serious negative consequences, possibly including affectionless psychopathy. He believes that the long term consequences of maternal deprivation might include the following: delinquency, reduced intelligence, increased aggression, depression
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