Influence of childhood on adult relationships

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  • Influence of childhood on adult relationships
    • Bowlby's IWM
      • Early attachments are templates for relationships later in life
      • Later relationships likely to be continuation of early attachment types
    • Hazen and Shaver's Love Quiz (1987)
      • % of adults categorized as three attachment types closely matched to Ainsworth's original findings
      • Correlation between adult's attachment types and type of parenting they recieved as children
    • Securely attached
      • Child: close to mum, able to be alone. Use mum s safe base. Show some separation/stranger anxiety. Good reunion behaviour
      • Adult: Enjoy closeness and intimacy but are able to distance themselves. Long lasting relationships, good quality communication
      • Evidence: Belsky (1994) 'partners accept more physical contact'
    • Insecure-avoidant
      • Child: Don't care who they are with as long as they are with someone. Not bothered about mum particularly
      • Adult: More likely to cheat, lack commitment, less interested in long term and meaningful relationships
      • Evidence: Hazan (1994) 'avoidant prefer sexual contact'
    • Insecure resistant
      • Child: Show high separation/stranger anxiety. Don't like being away from mum
      • Adult: Clingy/needy, mother their partners, hard to sustain relationship
      • Evidence: Kunce&Shaver (1994) 'compulsive care giving'
    • Adult Attachment Interview
      • Designed to measure whether people parent their children as they themselves were parented
      • Main used 4 parental attachment types that correlated with **.
      • Secure/autonomous- comfortable with intimacy- most common among parents of secure children
      • Dismissing-minimise importance of attachment- most common in avoidant children
      • Preoccupied- still trying to please parents- resistant children
      • Unresolved- experienced traumatic childhood- disorganised children
      • Evidence: Fonagy (1991) possible to predict attachment type of unborn child by finding out how individuals were parented
    • Evaluation
      • AAI has retrospective data, people may recall inaccuratley/social desirability
      • **: parenting in other cultures may differ/affect results. Low in EV, dificult to generalsie
      • Deterministic. Ignores free will, aren't guaranteed to be abnormal if you don't form attachments
      • What about fathers attachments when mothers aren't around?
      • Lots of research support- IWM valid
      • ** easy to replicate, similar results obtained. Results are reliable


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