Modifications of Bowlby's Attachment Theory Essay

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Modifications of Bowlby's Attachment Theory Bowlby's original theory of attachment was concerned with the bonding relationship that develops between an infant and his primary caregiver. He believed the process of bonding to have a biological basis as the genes of those infants who successfully sought the protection of a caregiver (from predators and other dangers) will have survived and been passed on. Bowlby also formulated the Maternal Deprivation hypothesis (1953) which is associated with his theory of attachment and resulted from a study on delinquent boys. Bowlby found that many of these boys shared a history of institutionalised care and concluded that infants need to bond with and maintain a…show more content…
The 'Strange Situation' experiment is conducted in a laboratory, which is set up as a playroom, and observed through a 2-way mirror. The quality of attachment is judged by the reunion behaviour displayed by the infant after a separation from the mother. The 3 patterns of attachment are known as Type B - secure attachment pattern, Type A - insecure attachment pattern anxious/avoidant and Type C - insecure attachment pattern anxious/ambivalent. A 4th. pattern was later identified as Type D - disorganised attachment pattern sometimes found where there is high social risk. Ainsworth believed that insecure attachments were the result of the mother figure not being both available and responsive to the infant. This is sometimes described as a lack of sensitivity from the mother figure. In the TV program 'Attachment' we are shown an example of a secure attachment followed by an insecure (anxious/avoidant) attachment as observed in a 'Strange Situation' experiment. The mother of the securely attached infant scooped the child up on re-entering the room and interacted with the child in order to comfort her but the mother of the insecurely attached infant did not touch her child and sat on a nearby chair in a detached manner. This would appear to support the view that insensitive mothering results in insecure attachments. However Judy Dunn in the same program expressed the view
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