Relation: Infant Mother Attachment and Eating Disorders

1510 Words Jul 9th, 2018 7 Pages
The purpose of this paper is to correlate the links between infant mother attachment and eating disorder behavior. Throughout this paper the two main theorists that are looked at are Mary S. Ainsworth and John Bowlby. Mary S. Ainsworth’s framework of attachment theory began in Uganda, while studying individual difference in infant behavior, which is known as the Strange Situation. John Bowlby coined the theory of infant mother attachment based on object relations psychoanalytical theory and the conceptualization that infants need healthy maternal bonds for later functioning as adolescents. Eating disorders have reached epidemic proportions over the last 30 years. Research shows that individuals with eating disorder have higher levels …show more content…
However, when Ainsworth was in Uganda she coined the term secure base relationship after she noticed that infants did not always stay close to their mother, infants explored objects and interacted with others, however, at the same time, returning back to their caregivers (Ainsworth, 1969). According to Ainsworth, there are three evident attachment patterns that can develop: secure, ambivalent and avoidant infants. Ainsworth felt it was necessary for a child to transition from a mother’s attachment and vulnerability to autonomy and independence as a factor in normal healthy development.
One of the key points of Ainsworth’s security theory is that infants need to “develop a sense of direction and secure dependence on parents” before leaving the nest into a strange and unfamiliar situation (Bretherton, 1992). According to Ainsworth, “Familial security in the early stages is of a dependent type and forms a basis from which the individual can work gradually, forming new skills and interest in other fields.” Ainsworth “contributed the concept of the attachment figure as a secure base from which an infant can explore the world” (Bretherton, 1992, p. 759). Bowlby and Ainsworth were both influenced by Sigmund Freud during their careers, however they both worked independently on their research (Bretherton,
Open Document