Attachment Vs. Attachment Theory

1977 Words8 Pages
This essay will comprise, firstly, of past research looking into what attachment/ attachment theory is, focusing on Bowlby’s (1973) 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 implications of knowing about this potential link between attachment and mental health will also be discussed. Finally, a conclusion will be made to whether there is a strong link with attachment and mental illness.
Attachment theory has proven to be one of the most beneficial frameworks for understanding risk and protection factors within developmental psychology stated by Bowlby (1973). Bowlby (1982) suggested that children form mental representations of relationships based on their interactions with their primary care giver. Which form a cognitive structure of embodying memories based on these daily interactions with their attachment figure (Bretherton et al, 1990). This is more commonly known as the internal working model, and has been used to explain how infants used this existing representation, to
Get Access