Bowlby And Attachment Theory And The Theory Of The Attachment Theory

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It was this Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis (1953; 1969) that sought to bring Bowlby and attachment theory its strongest criticism (Rutter 1981; Clarke & Clarke 1998) The theory that if a child is deprived of its mother, or mother-substitute at a key point (approx. 6 months to 3 years) for work purposes, or even for the purpose of hospitalisation, the child’s social and cognitive development would suffer as a result. The critiques have gone from levelling criticism, to the Hypothesis itself being largely discredited (Smith et al 2011) Importantly, regardless of whether or not the theory was believed, it is known to have had a profound effect on a generation of mothers.

There has been much controversy regarding childminding and crèche based child care and attachment theory. Early research in the 1950s and 1960s (including the writings of Bowlby) suggested caution when considering alternative child day care
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However, the major function of attachment theory is to guide further research (Attachments and other affectional bonds across the life cycle, Mary D. Salter Ainsworth, 1991, p. 48)

Engaging in parenthood is playing for high stakes. Furthermore, because successful parenting is a principal key to the mental health of the next generation, we need to know all we can both about its nature and about the manifold social and psychological conditions that influence its development for better or worse.
Lecture 1 – Caring for children – Clinical applications of Attachment Theory; A Secure Base, John Bowlby, 1988, p1.

Studies continually show that well adjusted, self reliant, contented adolescents and young adults are the result of a stable environment where both parents offer significant time and attention to the

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