The Attachment Theory Since The Time Of John Bolwby. Bowlby 's Evolutionary Theory Of Attachment

1979 Words Mar 16th, 2015 8 Pages
This essay sets out to discuss important developments of the attachment theory since the time of John Bolwby. Bowlby’s evolutionary theory of attachment suggests that children come into the world biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others, to help them survive. He believed that attachment behaviors are instinctive and are activated by any conditions that seem to threaten the achievement of proximity, so separation, insecurity and fear (McLeod, 2007). The first development to be discussed comes from Mary Ainsworth, a former student of Bolwby’s. In the 1970’s Ainsworth developed a procedure, The Strange Situation, to assess the quality of a child’s attachment to their caregiver. Secondly, The Adult Attachment Interview developed shortly after the strange situation by a former student of Ainsworth’s, Mary Main. This looked at the attachment of the adult and the correlation between the adult’s attachment and their child’s. Finally, Edward Tronick’s Still Face Experiment first presented in 1975. This helped look at individual differences in attachment style through a procedure of a baby interacting with the caregiver and then the baby’s reaction to a non-responsive, emotionless caregiver, then most importantly the reaction of the baby when there is reparation from the mother.

In the 1970’s Mary Ainsworth introduced a new way of studying child/parent attachments. She initiated a stressful event that activated the child’s attachment system whilst providing for the…

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