Explanations of attachment: Bowlby’s Theory

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  • Explanations of attachment: Bowlby's theory
    • A has evolved because it increases likelihood of survival and reproduction
      • An infant who is not attached is less protected
        • Parents mus also be attached to baby - ensure care
    • Critical period
      • Innate drive to become attached
      • Forms around 3-6 months - infants who doent have the oppurtunity struggle later on
      • Determined by sensitivity
    • Social releasers
      • Smiling, having a babyface - all elicit caregiving
      • Innate
    • Monotropy
      • Has 1 special emotional bond to primary attachment relationship
        • Important for healthy psychological and social development
    • Consequence of attachment
      • Mental representation of relationship = Internal working model
        • Continuity from infancy to adulthood in terms of emotional type
    • Support for internal working model
      • 99 mothers assessed with 1Yr old babies on quality of their attachment to their own mothers using an interview
    • Support for social releasers
      • When mothers ignore babies signals = initially showed some distress
        • Responded by curling up and lying motionless - strong response
    • Sensitive period not critical
      • Rutter = less likely to form attachement but is still possible
        • Can take place outside period = LV
    • Supporting research
      • Followed pptd from infancy to late adolscence and found securley attached = high social competence, less isolated and more popular


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