John Bowlby 's Theory Of Attachment

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John Bowlby’s theory of attachment asserts that an infant forms an attachment to the primary caregiver to ensure survival. Developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth furthered this idea by devising attachment styles in infants. Ainsworth believed that the quality of care given by the mother or primary caregiver results in the infant developing a secure or insecure attachment. Ainsworth identified three attachment styles, namely; secure, avoidant and anxious/ambivalent attachments. As the word infers, a secure infant has trust in the caregiver and will use the mother as a secure base from which they can explore. Conversely, an avoidant attachment results in the child not having confidence in the mother where attempts to be intimate have been rejected, and anxious ambivalent attachment is a result of inconsistent parenting where the child is left feeling anxious, suspicious and mistrustful. A further contribution to attachment styles was made by psychologists’ Mary Main and Judith Solomon, who suggested a fourth type; disorganized attachment, where a child behaves in a disoriented and contradictory manner. Maternal sensitivity refers to the extent to which the maternal figure is available to the infant. There is, however, an argument that biology is the reason for the bond that is formed by an infant with its mother and the attachment style they develop in life. This paper serves to demonstrate that attachment styles are a result of both biological factors and the sensitivity
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