Comparison Of Theories Of Attachment Essay

2275 words - 9 pages

This essay will firstly explain the different stage that is associated with development of young people socially in the early years of their life, with examples of Schaffer and Emerson’s theory of stages of attachment. Next the essay will evaluate the theories of attachment between a child and their parents/guardians, evaluating Bowlby’s theory of attachment, and using examples from Freud’s ‘cupboard love theories’ and behavioural and psychoanalytic perspectives in comparison to Bowlby. Next it will look at any contributing factors that make a difference to individuals during attachment and looking at way fear and anxiety play a part during separation for children from their primary carer. After which the essay will respond to Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation, and look into any long term consequences that occur due to a result of this.
According to Kagan et al. (1978) attachment is defined as “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” the definition shows attachment is important in life, and is said that our first attachment is very crucial to our development towards other relationships, e.g. with other family members, friends, and romantic relationships. Bowlby (1973) presented that newly born humans are vulnerable and they are genetically programmed to behave in certain ways to ensure survival, and also states mothers inherit a ‘genetic blueprint’ to respond to the baby at all times. The child’s attachment to their mothers will determine how close they are, and how the child acts around strangers, usually giving off any social responses in reaction to being scared, ill or in unfamiliar surroundings, e.g. crying and smiling, etc. Bowlby also states that infants tend to bond and become attached to one key figure, usually the mother, in which he calls, ‘monotropy ’ he considers this to be strongest bond, and is distinctive between mother and child. In comparison to Bowlby, Freud developed ‘cupboard love theories’ of attachment with two different view-points. According to psychoanalytic views, Infants become attached because of their carer’s capability to satisfy an infant’s needs. Freud (1926) quotes “The reason why the infant in arms wants to perceive the presence of its mother is only because it already knows that she satisfies all its needs without delay”. Freud believes feeding acts as a stimulant for attachments as it satisfies an infant’s need for ‘food, security and oral sexual gratification’ and these needs are satisfied by the mother. Attachments do not occur when infants are withdrawn from these pleasures, so psychoanalytic’s stress an importance for breast-feeding and the need for a maternal figure. From a behaviourist view, also states that infants are attached to figures that can satisfy their psychological desires, they feel their caregiver gives them a sense of security as they satisfy...

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