Bowlbys Monotropic Theory-Evaluation

  • Created by: MollyL20
  • Created on: 03-12-20 14:04
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  • Bowlbys Monotropic theory- Evaluation
    • Mixed evidence for monotropy
      • Bowlby believed that babies generally formed one attachment to their PCG and this was a special attachment, only after this attachment is formed that the child can form multiple attachments
      • This isn't supported by Schaffer and Emerson, they found that most babies did attach to one person at first. However, they also found that a significant minority appeared to be able to form multiple attachments at the same time
      • Studies for attachment to mother and father tend to show that the attachment is more important in predicting later behaviour (Suess et al 1992)
        • However, this could simply mean that attachment to the primary attachment figure is just stronger than other attachments and not necessarily that is the difference in quality
    • Support for social releasers
      • There is clear evidence to show that cute infant behaviours are intended to initiate social interactions and that doing so is important to the baby
      • Brazelton (1975) observed mothers and babies during their interactions, reporting the interactional synchrony
      • PAF were told to ignore the babies signals and to ignore their social releasers
        • Initially the babies showed some distress but when the attachment figures continued to ignore the baby some responded by curling up and lying motionless
      • The facts that children responded so strongly supports Bowlby's ideas about the significance of infant social behaviour in eliciting caregiving
    • Support for internal working model
      • It is testable because it predicts the patterns of attachment will be passed on from one generation to the next
      • Bailey et al (2007) tested this idea, they assessed 99 mothers with their 1 year old babies on their quality of their attachment to their own mothers using an interview process. They also used observations to assess the attachments.
      • It was found that mothers who reported poor attachments to their own parents in the interviews
        • were much more likely to have children classified as poor according to the observations
      • This supports the idea that an internal working model of attachment was being passed through families


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