Questions On Theories Of Attachment Essay

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Understand Theories of Attachment. Evaluating two theories that explain the development of the infant attachment to parents or surrogates. Ainsworth and Bell’s theory, based on Strange Situation Test (SST), and Bowlby’s monotropic theory will be evaluated and shall show their usefulness in psychological research. Summary of Attachment. An attachment is, to quote Kagan et al. (1978, cited in Gross, 2015), “…an intense emotional relationship that is specific to two people, that endures over time, and in which prolonged separation from the partner is accompanied by stress and sorrow.” This accurately describes an attachment at any age. However, the first attachment is presumed to be instinctual, in evolutionary theories, and act as a template for all future relationship, this could make it the most important attachment in an individuals’ life. This attachment was of most concern to Bowlby and Ainsworth (Gross, 2015). Summary of Bowlby’s Monotropic Theory. The main points of Bowlby’s (1951, cited Pennington et al, 2003) theory are that a child has an innate need to form an attachment to one main figure, the mother or mother-substitute. Although a child can have multiple attachments, it is the need for a single and exclusive bond to the mother figure that is of vital importance, hence the name monotropic theory. A child also needs continuous care from this primary caregiver for approximately the first three years of life, the ‘critical period’. Otherwise, the child will suffer
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