How Has Bowlby’s Original Formulation of Attachment Theory Essay example

2374 Words Aug 8th, 2011 10 Pages
Bowlby’s (1946) original formulation of attachment theory drew upon both psychoanalytic and ethological theory and generated a significant amount of subsequent research. The core principle behind Bowlby’s theory was that the formation of a stable, healthy attachment with a caregiver in the early years of life is the key for an infants’ future emotional, social and cognitive development. Bowlby explained that this primary attachment relationship develops because infants need a mechanism to ensure survival. Attachment is therefore an adaptive behaviour which ensures the infant receives food, security and a safe base from which to explore the world. Several innate behaviours have evolved in order to elicit caregiving such as crying and …show more content…
When children have an IWM of themselves as valued and understood coupled with an IWM of significant others being responsive and predictable, they will have an increased sense of security and a more optimistic opinion of social relationships accompanied by higher levels of self-esteem and self-confidence. These qualities characterise children who are securely attached. The level of security in the first attachment relationship is thought to be the most influential component in the formation of children’s internal working models (IWM) of relationships, helping to shape future interpersonal bonds. The ‘Strange Situation’ technique (Ainsworth (1978) provides a standardised means of assessing the strength or quality of the kind of attachment relationships described by Bowlby. The Strange Situation consists of eight episodes. A mother and an infant of about 12 months of age are introduced to a playroom within a laboratory, where they are later joined by an unfamiliar woman. While the stranger plays with the infant, the mother leaves briefly and then returns. A second separation ensures during which the infant is completely alone. Finally, the stranger and then the mother return. The key events are the parent’s departure and return, and the infant’s behaviour in response which led to Ainsworth identifying three attachment types:- Type
Open Document