Influence of early attachment on later relationships- A03

  • Created by: MollyL20
  • Created on: 13-12-20 12:08
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  • Influence of early attachment on later relationships- A03
    • Evidence on continuity of attachment type is mixed
      • Internal working models predict continuity between the security of an infants attachment and that of its later relationships. Evidence for this continuity is mixed.
      • Some studies (McCarthy) does appear to support continuity and so provide evidence to support the model
      • However, not all studies support the model, fo example, Zimmerman (2000) assessed infant attachment type and adolescent attachment to parents
      • This is a problem because it is not what would expect if internal working models were important in development
    • Most studies have issues of validity
      • Most studies of attachment to PCG and other significant people do not make use of the strange situation but assess infant-parent attachment by means of interviews or questionnaires
      • This creates validity problems. First, assessment relies on self-report techniques to assess the quality of those relationships. The validity of questionnaires and interviews is limited because they depend on honesty and having a realistic view of this own relationships
      • A related problem concerns the retrospective nature of assessment of infant attachment.
      • Looking back into adulthood at ones early relationships to a primary attachment figure probably lacks validity because it relies on accurate recollection
    • Association doesn't mean causality
      • In those studies where infant attachment the is associated with the quality of later relationships the implication is that infant type causes the attachment
      • However, there are alternative explanations for the continuity that often exists between infants and later relationships
      • A third environmental factor such as parenting style might have had a direct effect on both attachment and the child's ability to form relationships with others. Alternatively the child's temperament may influence both infant attachment and the quality of later relationships
      • This is a limitation because it is counter to Bowlby's views that the internal working model caused these later outcomes


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