Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Development of Attachment Essays -- attachment theory, John Bowlby

One of the most important factors that affect child development is the relationship of the child with their primary caregiver. This is a tenet of developmental psychology known as attachment theory. John Bowlby, the creator of this theory, wanted to examine how early childhood experiences influence personality development. Attachment theory specifically examines infant’s reactions to being separated from their primary caregiver. Bowlby hypothesized that the differences in how children react to these situations demonstrates basic behavioral differences in infancy that will have consequences for later social and emotional development. To study attachment theory, Mary Ainsworth developed the Strange Situation Paradigm. This procedure examines the reaction of the infant when their primary caregiver leaves them for up to three minutes. The emotional response of the child to being left alone and the behavior of the child when the caregiver reappears are coded on a seven point rating scale. Based on these scores children are divided into three categories which illustrate the quality of the attachment. Securely attached children are confident in their relationship with their primary caregiver, and are not afraid to explore new things. In the Strange Situation, these infants are less distressed during separation and happy to see their caregiver during the reunion and will often make contact with them. Infants with an insecure-avoidant attachment are characterized by a lack of positive affect toward their primary caregiver. They are less distressed during the separation than most infants, and reserve their emotiona l response not for their caregiver but for toys or the experimenter. Infants with insecure-ambivalent or resistan... ...t. Child Development, 62, 906-917. Joseph, R. (1999). Environmental Influences on Neural Plasticity, the Limbic System, Emotional Development and Attachment: A Review. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 29. Koran-Karie, N., Oppenheim, D., Dolev, S., Sher, E., & Etzion-Carasso, A. (2002). Mothers’ Insightfulness Regarding Their Infants’ Internal Experience: Relations With Maternal Sensitivity and Infant Attachment. Developmental Psychology, 38, 534-542. Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Wainwright, R., Gupta, M. D., Fradley, E., & Tuckey, M. (2002, November/December). Maternal mind-mindedness and attachment security as predictors of theory of mind understanding. Child Development, 73, 1715-1726. Sonkin, D. J. (2005, January/February). Attachment Theory and Psychotherapy. The Therapist. Retrieved from

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