Bowlby's (1907-1990) theory of attachment evaluation

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  • Bowlby's theory of attachment evaluation
    • Applies to real world. Hospitals now allow patents to stay with their child to prevent attachment disruption, daycare facilities adopt a keyworker strategy to provide a substitute caregiver in the absence of a working parent, and social services support parents who are struggling rather than remove children into foster care.
    • Despite its positive contributions, Bowbly's theory suggests that even temporary separation between child and caregiver has damaging effects this might cause working mothers to feel guilty for leaving their children.
    • Bowlby claim that a single caregiver was the most important figure for a child have been criticised. Instead it has been suggested that children ave multiple attachments with caregivers other than the mother. These can be with father, grandparents and other siblings (Schaffer and Emerson, 1964) and are based on quality of interaction rather than quantity of care, which challenges Bowlby's concept of monotropy.
    • The maternal deprivation hypothesis suggests quite serious consequences for even small amount of separation. Some psychologists believe that these consequences are more likely a result of privation that of deprivation, and that Bowlby failed to distinguish between the two.
    • The idea that human babies are pre-programmed to attach to a caregiver is very plausible, and there are plenty of animals comparisons that can be drawn to prove the evolutionary basis of attachment. However, the evolutionary basis of attachment does not place any value on the quality of attachment that is formed
    • Bowlby conducted his own research study on delinquent adolescents that support his maternal deprivation hypothesis.


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