The Experiment By Mary Ainsworth

1252 Words6 Pages
Abstract
This report discusses and evaluates the experiment conducted by Mary Ainsworth (1970) on several types of attachments one year-olds form and can form with their parents, specifically mothers. It discusses how these attachments are formed and further explains the function of the attachments for future development. Supported ideas are included to support agreement with Ainsworth’s theories. Suggested interventions to help children develop healthy attachments concludes the report.

Attachment Issues in Development: An Evaluation of the ‘Strange Situation’ Many people assume that infants are naturally attached to their mothers or both parents. This notion is not entirely true. Research has shown that this is a two-way
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There has been much research on attachment between parent/caregiver and child, but the most recognizable of this research is mostly credited to Mary Ainsworth’s (1970) study of one year-olds and their mothers in the ‘Strange Situation’. The words attachment and bonding are often used synonymously to describe the relationship between parent and child. According to scientists, these terms are distinctive by definition. Attachment is the child’s way of using the parent/primary caregiver as security, safety and source of comfort from which to explore (Waters & Cummings, 2000). Bonding is the formation of a mutual emotional and psychological closeness between a child and the parent(s)/primary caregiver; mostly in the interest of the parent. Attachment theory is of importance when related to parenting for children. Ainsworth describes three types of attachments: secure, insecure-avoidant and insecure-resistant. A fourth type was later added to describe disorganized attachment. A review of the Strange Situation procedure and interventions to help children develop healthy attachments to primary caregivers is described in this report.
The Strange Situation The Strange Situation procedure was conducted with infants ranging from 12 to 18 months old and 56 middle-class, Caucasian American families. The purpose of the study was to determine various styles of attachments and the nature of these attachments when
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