The Attachment Theory Essay

1799 words - 7 pages

Attachment is an emotional bond that is from one person to another. The attachment theory is a psychological, an evolutionary and an ethological theory that is concerned with relationships between humans, specifically between mother and infant. A young infant has to develop a relationship with at least one of their primary caregivers for them to develop socially and emotionally. Social competence is the condition that possesses the social, emotional and intellectual skills and behaviours, the infant needs these to success as a member of society. Many studies have been focused on the Western society, but there are many arguments to whether or not this can be applicable to other cultures, such as the poorer countries.
John Bowlby was the first attachment theorist, he describes attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings” (Bowlby, 1969, p.194), he believed that the earliest bonds that were formed between child and caregiver has a huge impact that continues throughout the infants life. Attachment is said to help keep the infant close to their mother, so it improves the child’s chance of survival.
Bowlby described there being four phases into the development of attachment, this was extended by their being a fifth phase added to it. Phase 1 is said to be when the infant orientates and signals without discriminating people. Phase 2 is when the child orientates and signals to at least one or more discriminated persons. This then marks the first sign of attachment. The child will be more likely to smile and interact more towards their mother or another caregiver. This is normally shown between the ages of 5-7 months.
Phase 3 the infant will crawl to the person or will return in different periods for contact or will cry or protest if the person leaves, this is called separation protest. This is normally from the age of 7-9 months. In phase 4 a partnership starts to occur between the child and their caregiver, and the child will start to accommodate to the mother’s needs. Phase 5 suggests that when the child is of school age they will start to show affection, trust and approval within the relationship with the caregiver.
Ainsworth’s research looked at Bowlby’s and expanded it. In her study called the strange situation (Ainsworth, 1978), she revealed profound effects of attachment on behaviour. The study observed children between the age of 12 and 18 months old, as they responded to a situation where they were left alone for a brief amount of time and then they were reunited with their mothers. The study involved seven short episodes that took place in a small room. The episodes were the mother and infant were in the room, the infant will explore the room for 3 minutes, and the stranger then enters the room and sits with the mother for 1 minute, and then starts to play with the infant. The mother then leaves the room and the stranger continues to play with the infant, the mother then returns and the stranger leaves the...

Find Another Essay On The Attachment Theory

Attachment Theory Essay

1820 words - 7 pages Attachment theory has had some very powerful theorists that have come up with these ideologies. In 1969, John Bowlby was the first theorist to develop the attachment theory. It is a theory developed to explain the emotional ties that children had with their parents or caregivers. It was believed that a child’s attachment style with a caregiver was developed throughout childhood and influenced how an individual interacts with society. It also

Attachment theory Essay

801 words - 4 pages One of the basic assumptions Bowlby makes in his attachment theory Is that physiological or physical threats activate an attachment system example loss of an attachment figure. Attachment triggers such has hunger, fatigue, failure, loss, threats of failure or loss and real failure or loss activates an attachment system. A sense of anxiety or stress comes about when these triggers are set and the individual feels the need to maintain

Attachment Theory

1817 words - 7 pages Introduction John Bowlby developed his Attachment Theory to examine and explore the contextual relationships between a child and their caregiver and their behavioral repercussions. He describes it is “a way of conceptualizing the propensity of human beings to make strong affectional bonds to particular others and of explaining the many forms of emotional distress and personality disturbance, including anxiety, anger, depression, and

Attachment Theory

755 words - 4 pages . He is best known for his research into attachment formation and his development of the attachment theory. Bowlby hypothesis of attachment is that both babies and mothers have evolved a biological need to stay in contact with each other. Bowlby’s theory has four main parts: a child has an inborn need to attach to one main figure; a child should receive continuous care from this main figure for at least the first two years of life and if this

Attachment Theory

2229 words - 9 pages To gain a better insight of attachment theory Mary S. Ainsworth developed a concept unfolding the underlying behaviors infants display towards their mothers. Without a mother infant bond, insecure attachment can develop causing psychological and emotional stresses. However, a maternal bond is needed for a healthy development in an infant, without the necessary mother infant bond negative behaviors can arise leading to difficulties in

Attachment theory

687 words - 3 pages Attachment theory is a theory (or group of theories) about the psychological tendency to seek closeness to another person, to feel secure when that person is present, and to feel anxious when that person is absent.Attachment theory has its origins in the observation of and experiments with animals. A famous series of experiments on infant monkeys by Harlow and Harlow demonstrated that attachment is not a simple reaction to internal drives such

Bowlby’s Attachment Theory

1651 words - 7 pages Bowlby’s attachment theory has greatly influenced practice. His theory of attachment explains the importance of having a figure that the child shares a strong bond with. Having an attachment can significantly support a child’s development as Barbara Woods suggests that “his theory of attachment proposed that attachment is innate in both infants and mothers, and that the formation of this attachment is crucial for the infants development” Wood, B

John Bowlby's Attachment Theory

2169 words - 9 pages John Bowlby’s attachment theory established that an infant’s earliest relationship with their primary caregiver or mother shaped their later development and characterized their human life, “from the cradle to the grave” (Bowlby, 1979, p. 129). The attachment style that an infant develops with their parent later reflects on their self-esteem, well-being and the romantic relationships that they form. Bowlby’s attachment theory had extensive

Attachment System Theory Application

1461 words - 6 pages Family life can sometimes be perceived as chaotic and unreasonable when faced with challenges. However, from a systems theory perspective, these erratic behaviors can often be explained by the interdependent workings of the family itself and reveal reason within chaos. Applying the attachment theory to this theory, an explanation for a child’s reactions within the situation and in the future can be attributed to the relationship between the

BOWLBYS ATTACHMENT THEORY

2798 words - 11 pages INTRODUCTIONThe essay composition is based on the following issues:An explanation of the principal theoretical framework that will be discussed in the essay;Application of the theory in the case study;Criticism on Bowlby's theory and alternative theories that are applicable in this situation;How and why knowledge of these theories are useful and relevant for social workers;THE EMERGENCE OF ATTACHMENT THEORYAccording to John Bowlby (cited in

Modifications of Bowlby's Attachment Theory

2432 words - 10 pages Modifications of Bowlby's Attachment Theory Bowlby's original theory of attachment was concerned with the bonding relationship that develops between an infant and his primary caregiver. He believed the process of bonding to have a biological basis as the genes of those infants who successfully sought the protection of a caregiver (from predators and other dangers) will have survived and been passed on. Bowlby also

Similar Essays

The Attachment Theory And Factors Damaging To Attachment

1253 words - 5 pages Attachment Theory Relationships are the building block for personality and are significant in children’s ability to grow into substantial individuals who can thrive in an often harsh world. Constructing lasting and fulfilling relationships is an integral part to development as the interpersonal bonds forged are not only highly sought after but also set the ground work for all upcoming expressive interactions. Relationships and attachment go hand

The Development Of Attachment Theory And Its Strengths And Limitations

1443 words - 6 pages The Development of Attachment Theory and Its Strengths and Limitations English psychiatrist John Bowlby is a leading and influential figure within the history of social reform. His work has influenced social work policies and legislation relating to child psychiatry and psychology. Bowlby was trained as a psychoanalyst, and was influenced by Freudians theories, but became influenced again in his attachment theory by

The Theory Of Attachment And Attachment Styles

1277 words - 5 pages Attachment is the emotional bond between humans, which is based on our relationship with a parent or early caregiver during the years of childhood. There are four different attachment styles – secure, preoccupied, dismissive, and fearful – each describing a different way in which individuals interact with others, approach social and romantic relationships, and deal with life. Each attachment style is divided along two dimensions – the fear of

Consider The Extent To Which Psychological Theories Have Been Successful In Explaining Attatchments Bowlby's Theory Of Attachment

1050 words - 4 pages The theory of attachment was originally developed by John Bowlby (1907 - 1990). Bowlby was a British psychoanalyst who was attempting to understand the intense distress experienced by infants who had been separated from their parents. Bowlby's first formal statement of the attachment theory, building on concepts from ethology and developmental psychology, was presented to the British Psychoanalytic Society in London in three now classic papers