Bowlby's Theory

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  • BOWLBY'S THEORY
    • Sensitive Period
      • Limited Window of Development
        • Development of all biological systems takes place during a critical period.
        • Bowlby suggested the second quarter of the first year the critical period.
        • After this period it become increasingly difficult to form attachments.
      • Hodges and Tizard
        • Found children who formed no attachments had later difficulty with peers.
        • Supports the theory.
    • Monotropy and Hierarchy
      • Infants form a number of attachments but are bias towards one.
        • Infants have a primary attachment figure and secondary ones that form a hierarchy.
        • Often the mother - sensitivity is the key.
      • Evaluation
        • Tronick and Schaffer and Emerson both show infants can have multiple attachments.
          • However they still maintain one primary figure.
        • The primary attachment figure was not always the feeder.
          • Quality over quantity of care is what forms attachment.
        • Unclear weather only one primary attachment figure is necessary for healthy emotional development.
      • Secondary attachment figures.
        • Important in emotional development - act as a 'safety net'.
        • Children bought up without secondary attachment figures tend to lack social skills.
    • Attachment is Adaptive and Innate
      • Believes attachment is a behavioral system that evolved because of its survival and reproductive value.
        • Children have and innate drive to become attached to a caregiver as it has long term benefits.
        • Benefits such as imprinting - within hours of birth the mother knows the smell of her own infant and only cares for this one.
        • Increases survival therefore reproduction.
      • Lorenz: His goose research supports the view that imprinting is innate as they imprinted on the first thing they saw.
    • Internal Working Model and Continuity Hypothesis
      • Working Model
        • The relationship between a primary caregiver and infant provides a foundation of future relationships.
        • The 'model' is cluster of concepts such as consistent and inconsistent love.
        • Remembers what makes them happy/sad or anxious.
      • Hypothesis
        • Consistency between early and later relationships.
        • Lead to the view there is a link between early emotional attachment and later emotional behavior.
      • Minnesota Longitudinal study followed adolescence.
        • Individuals classified as secure in infancy were rated highest for social competence.
          • Were less isolated, more popular and more empathetic.
        • Demonstrated continuity.
    • Care giving is Adaptive
      • The drive to provide care giving is also adaptive.
        • Infants are born with social releasers.
        • Social relearsers include crying,, smiling and 'the baby face'.
      • Attachment relies on the interaction of two things.
        • 1. Attachment as an innate behavioral system in babies.
          • These enhance survival.
        • 2. Care giving is the innate response from adults.
          • These enhance survival.
    • A Secure Base
      • Attachment is important for protection as its a secure base from which a child can explore the world.
      • They have a place to return when they feel threatened.
      • Attachment fosters independence rather than /de/pendence
    • Caregiver Sensitivity
      • Harlow's monkeys formed an unresponsive attachment.
        • Struggled to form attachment.
      • Schaffer and Emmerson
        • Strongly attached infants had mothers who responded to their child the most.
        • Insecurely attached had unresponsive mothers.
      • Carlson found insensitive caring was associated with disorganised attachment

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