Bowlbys Monotropic Theory

  • Created by: MollyL20
  • Created on: 22-11-20 14:48
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  • Bowlby's monotropic theory
    • John Bowlby proposed an evolutionary theory: that attachment was an innate system that gave a survival advantage. Imprinting and attachment evolved to ensure that young animals stay close to their caregivers
    • Monotropy
      • He placed a great emphasis on a child's attachment to one particular caregiver and believed that the one main caregiver is different and more important than others
      • He believed that the more time a baby spent with this primary attachment the better. He put forward 2 principles to clarify this:
        • The law of continuity stated that the more constant and predictable a child's care is, the better the quality of attachment
        • The law of accumulated separation stated that the effects of everyday separation from the mother add up
    • Social releasers and the critical period
      • Bowlby suggests that we are born with innate behaviours such as smiling, cooing and gripping that encourages attention from adults. These are social releasers
      • He recognised that attachment was reciprocal both mothers and babies have an innate predisposition to become attached and social releasers trigger that response in caregivers
      • The interplay gradually builds up the relationship, Bowbly proposed that there is a critical period of around 2 years but now calls it more of a sensitive period if an attachment hasn't been formed in this time then the child will find it harder to form one
    • Internal Working Model
      • Proposed that a child forms mental representation of their relationships with their PCG. IT has a powerful effect on the nature of the child's future relationships
      • Children whose first relationship involves poor treatment tend to from poor relationships in which they treat others that way or expect treatment a certain way?
      • The internal working model affects the child's later ability to be a parent themselves. People tend to base their parenting behaviour on their own experiences of being parented
        • This explains why children from functional families tend to have similar families themselves


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