Discuss the Evidence That Attachment Relationships in Early Childhood Can Have Positive and Negative Consequences.

1591 WordsNov 15, 20067 Pages
Discuss the evidence that attachment relationships in early childhood can have positive and negative consequences. Attachment is described as an "affectionate reciprocal relationship between an individual and another individual." Much psychological research has been carried out into the types of attachments that infants form with their caregivers, and the results gained from these studies show how early attachments can affect children whether positively or negatively. Some psychologists claim that the ability to attach to the caregiver is innate in babies. Bowlby said that ‘babies are born with an innate tendency to create strong emotional bonds with their caregivers'. This is mainly for survival because the caregiver provides…show more content…
Despite work that has criticised this, mothers today still are kept together with their baby directly after birth. Klaus and Kennell's research would suggest that early attachment does have positive consequences. However, research is not conclusive in deciding whether attachments do form in this ‘critical period' or not. Research has also been carried out which has looked into whether or not bad attachment styles can result in negative consequences. Many studies have looked at the effects of separation of babies from their mothers. It is claimed by psychologists that depriving a baby from being with its mother will have negative consequences later on in life. Bowlby (1953) looked into the effects of deprivation on children and came up with the Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis. He believed that if an infant couldn't develop a "warm, intimate and continuous relationship" with its mother, or substitute mother, then it would have problems with behaviour and forming relationships later in life. Bowlby conducted a study which aimed to find any causes for children to have behavioural problems. His 44 thieves study in 1944, involved looking at 88 children from a guidance clinic. Half of the children were there because they were emotionally maladjusted. The other half were thieves and did not feel guilt for the crimes they had
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