John Bowlby’s attachment theory established that an infant’s earliest relationship with their primary caregiver or mother shaped their later development and characterized their human life, “from the cradle to the grave” (Bowlby, 1979, p. 129). The attachment style that an infant develops with their parent later reflects on their self-esteem, well-being and the romantic relationships that they form. Bowlby’s attachment theory had extensive research done by Mary Ainsworth, who studied the mother-infant interactions specifically regarding the theme of an infant’s exploration of their surrounding and the separation from their mother in an experiment called the strange situation. Ainsworth defined the four attachment styles: secure,
According to Simply Psychology, Bowlby’s attachment theory says an individual can have an attachment with someone that is not shared. Attachment is characterized by behaviors in children such as seeking proximity with their attachment figure when upset. Bowlby’s experiments led him to see the importance of a child and mother relationship. (Saul McLeod, 2009) With more research later came four phases of attachment. Phase one is from birth to two months, this stage is where babies seek comfort, and can attach to anyone. Phase two is from two months to seven months. Babies start to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar faces. Also, they can tell between primary and secondary caregivers. Phase three is seven to 24 months old. This phase is when babies have the knowledge of who their caregiver is, which causes separation anxiety when the caregiver has to leave. Phase four is from 24 months and after, which is when the child can reciprocate the relationship. (Maianu, 2015)
Secure attachment is fundamentally important to the long term health and wellbeing of children (Bowlby 1959). John Bowlby (1907-1990) was a psychoanalyst, he believed that the mental health and behavioural problems could recognised to early childhood. Within this assignment the author will be discussing the basic meaning of attachment, also secure and insecure attachment and why they are important. The author will also be discussing the positives and negatives of attachment and other theorists that have different views to John Bowlby. The information will back up their facts with reliable references, which include books and electronic resources.
John Bowlby had worked with residential school children as a volunteer early on in his career and had determined that the children who suffered the most from anger outbursts, aggressivity, and whom her termed “affectionless” were also the children who had suffered the most maternal deprivation (). Bowlby advanced that the loss of the mother figure was extremely distressing and damaging and could influence adults' behavior years later. Hence, where psychoanalysis had been concerned “solely with the imaginings of the childish mind, the fantasied pleasures and the dreaded retributions” (Fonagy), Bowlby showed that humans do not develop in a void or as “individual monads” but as members of interacting systems. Bowlby developed his theory on attachment for several decades, and at a time where any dealings with childhood trauma were still rigorously influenced by Freudian psychoanalysis through the likes of psychoanalysts such Anna Freud or Melanie Klein. Even Winnicott was “revulsed” upon reading Bowlby's papers (siegel). It certainly was a bitter pill to swallow for psychoanalysts who had been repeating since Freud that the newborn was a little tyrant fighting for oral gratification at the mother's breast and merely clinging on to fulfil sexual instinctual needs. Bowlby's work was thus eschewed for a considerable time, despite his involvement with the World Health Organisation and the considerable empirical weight that was added to his findings by Mary Ainsworth's studies in
The majority of developmental theories say that children must develop a secure primary attachment in order to develop in a healthy manner. A secure and strong attachment is clearly essential for healthy future relationships. John Bowlby’s studies in childhood development led him to the conclusion that a strong attachment to a caregiver provides a necessary sense of security and foundation. Without such a relationship in place, Bowlby found that a great deal of developmental energy is expended in the search for stability and security. In general, those without such attachments are fearful and are less willing to seek out and learn from new
Attachment theory came about by reknowned psychologist Bowlby in 1958 (Bretherton, 1992). This prestigious discovery explores the effects of relationship between a primary caregiver and an infant’s neural pattern of attachment and emotional regulation behaviors. An infant that securely attaches with a primary caregiver has more implications to grow into a more securely attached or stable adult with similar securely attached relationships. This is seen as learned adaptive emotional regulation. On the other hand, Bowlby speculates how the insecurely attached infant will grow into maladaptive emotional regulation behaviors (Caspers, 2006). The insecurely attached or maladaptive behaviors are potentially seen as precursory to addiction behaviors
John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth were also two influential individuals who were interested in the phenomena of attachment. The attachment theory was the collaborative work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth who were influenced by the psychodynamic school of thought. They believed that early in life, strong bonds are usually formed to their caregivers, and the quality of those attachments determines the expectations one will maintain on one’s self and others (Nolan-Hoeksema, 2007). Both Bowlby and Ainsworth believed that there are several different forms of attachment in early development, however, the two main types are secure and insecure attachments (Gross, 2011). Children who form secure attachments tend to be more confident that their caregivers will be there when they need them (Nolan-Hoeksema, 2007). This confidence facilitates the courage to explore their environment, returning to their caregivers when needing comfort or care (Nolan-Hoeksema, 2007). As children continue to develop, they will go on to expect that their other relationships will be secure, thus seeking out positive, strong relationships with others (Nolan-Hoeksema, 2007).
John Bowlby’s attachment theory (1991) argued that infants are motivated to engage in an organized behavioral system that ensures preferred others, usually the primary caregivers, remain close, provide support and function as a “secure base”. Bowlby, along with other theorists (e.g. Ainsworth, 1969, 1985, 1989, 1991; Main et al., 1985; Sroufe and Waters, 1977), argues that the ways in which adult individuals form intimate bonds with other individuals are influenced by the patterns of relationships with primary caregivers established in childhood. In attachment theory, it is a fundamental tenet that the security or lack of it, experiences in the child-parent relationship forms a template for the patterns of interpersonal relationships the child
Bowlby Attachment Theory states that that attachment was characterized by clear behavioral and motivation patterns. When children are frightened, they will seek proximity from their primary caregiver in order to receive both comfort and care. (Cherry, 2016). A 11 month girl just settled and get used to the room routines recently, she started exploring the curriculum within reaching distance by her primary caregiver. I tried to build relationship with her by engaging her in exploring the musical instrument. She was happy with my accompany and interaction. By accident, another child walked passing by and lost balance knocked on her, she was frightened and upset. I offer her a comfort cuddle while I was just next by, she refused and seeking a
Steven Mitchell Attachment Theory and the Psychoanalytic Tradition: Reflections on Human Relationality is an interesting article in that it highlights the importance of personal relationships and human interaction and explores the difference between Bowlby’s attachment theory and psychoanalysis. Both psychoanalysis and attachment theory has respective approaches regarding how one comes to understand human nature and the individual. His use of clinical vignette helps to solidify the idea of the transactional understanding of the patient therapist relationship. Mitchell approach draws from other major psychoanalytic theorists such as Fairbairn, Loewald, Sullivan, Winicott, and Bowlb.
Attachment theories look at the different ways in which children form attachments to others, usually their primary carer. This bond is usually formed very early on by a baby becoming attached to the adult who feed’s, changes and comforts them. John Bowlby’s believed that this primary carer did not have to be the child’s natural mother, but that they did need one central person. As a result of a close bond with their primary carer, from the age of 5 or 6 months, children who are separated from them experience emotions of loss and grief. Bowlbys findings have brought about many changes. It was this research that led to the introduction of the key worker system. Many Early Years settings have a settling in policy to help children during their
Attachment refers to an affectional bond; a bond which is exclusive to an individual and cannot be exchanged to another. A particularly important bond is the emotional one between an infant and its primary care giver. When it comes to attachment it is often said that it is either down to nature or nurture. Nature is the belief that it is genetic based whilst nurture believes it is our environment and experiences.
According to Ainsworth, attachment is an affectional bond: “a relatively long enduring tie in which the partner is important as a unique individual and is interchangeable with none other”. (Gross 2003). Having a close relationship to one thing or person.
Children, who have been subjected to neglect or abuse in their early relationships, instead of love and sensitivity, are liable to have “attachment difficulties”. They are likely to have a negative view of themselves, others and the world around them (Bomber, 2007, Howe et al, 1999, Cassidy, 1988, in Thompson) and their readiness to learn and potential to benefit from education will be diminished. (Bomber, 2007, Lyons-Ruth & Jacobvitz, 2008). Bowlby’s attachment theory is a useful framework for understanding the confusing behaviour of these children (Bomber, 2007). Bowlby (1958) defined attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings” and proposed that attachment can be understood within an evolutionary context
A psychoanalyst, John Bowlby, developed the attachment theory in 1969 after examining the intense distress that infants exhibited when separated from their parents. His observations showed that babies would perform extraordinary acts to prevent separation or to re-establish proximity. Using ethological theory, Bowlby posited that attachment behaviours, like crying and frantic searching, can be described as adaptive responses during separation from a main attachment figure. Moreover, Bowlby asserted that in evolutionary history, infants who preserved proximity to an attachment figure through attachment behaviours increased their rate of survivability to the reproductive age.