John Bowlby's Attachment Theory

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How has Bowlby’s formulation of attachment theory been modified in the light of subsequent research?”

London psychiatrist John Bowlby’s (1946) original formulation of attachment theory was influenced and inspired by both psychoanalytic and ethological theory (Freud, 1905, Lorenz 1935, Harlow 1958). Bowlby investigated the area of behaviour called attachment, spending many years developing the more comprehensive ‘Theory of Attachments’ published in a full version in 1969. Bowlby theorized that the bonding relationship between an infant and his primary caregiver provides a framework for attachments later-on in life and he called this process the development of an internal working model (IWM). Attachment theory generated an enormous influence on general understanding of emotional development. This essay will outline the key points of Bowlby’s theory and then evaluate few examples of how, for almost half a century, other psychologists have been influenced by his work, generating creative and impactful researches, developing his theory as well as criticizing its validity ending to modify certain
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One of the main strengths of Ainsworth's research was her extensive use of observation. Starting her work first in Uganda and later in Baltimore, she developed an experiment 'the strange situation', based on observations of behaviour in a staged laboratory setting. The Strange Situation provided a 'gold standard' to identify and classify differences in infant attachment, security or insecurity and became a important reference experiment throughout decades of research. Ainsworth’s study led to a valuable development of Bowlby theory, creating a method of observation and a classification to allow the exploration of aspects of maternal behaviour that prepare the way for individual differences in infant attachment (Oates et al.,
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