Mary Ainsworth A01

  • Created by: MollyL20
  • Created on: 07-12-20 11:55
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  • The strange situation- Mary Ainsworth (1969)
    • Aim
      • To observe key attachment behaviours as a means of assessing the quality of a child's attachment to a caregiver
    • Procedure
      • A controlled observation procedure
      • It takes place in a room with quite controlled conditions with a 2 way mirror through which psychologists can observe the infants behaviour
      • The infants behaviour that were used to judge attachments were
        • Proximity seeking: Good attachment= staying fairly close
        • Exploration and secure base behaviour: Good attachment= child's feels confident to explore and uses their care giver as a safe base
        • Stranger anxiety: A display of anxiety when a strangers approaches
        • Separation anxiety: Protests at separation from the caregiver
        • Reunion: With the carer after separation for a short period of time under controlled conditions
      • Measure the security of attachment a child displayed to a caregiver
    • The procedure had 8 episodes, each 3 mins
      • 1) Child and caregiver enter unfamiliar playroom
      • 2) The child is encouraged to explore (tests secure base)
      • 3) A stranger comes in and tries to interact with the child (tests stranger anxiety)
      • 4) Caregiver leaves the stranger and child together (tests seperation)
      • 5) Caregiver returns, Stranger leaves (tests secure base)
      • 6) Caregiver leaves the child alone (tests separation anxiety)
      • 7) The stranger returns (tests stranger anxiety)
      • 8) Caregiver returns and reunited (tests reunion behaviour)
    • Findings
      • She found that there are  3 main types of attachment
        • Secure attachment (Type B)
          • Happily explore but go back to the caregiver
          • Moderate separation and stranger anxiety
          • Accept comfort at the reunion stage
          • 60-75% of British toddlers
        • Insecure avoidant attachment (Type A)
          • Explore freely but don't seek proximity to caregiver
          • Little or no reaction when caregiver leaves
          • Makes little effort to make contact when the caregiver returns
          • Little stranger anxiety
          • 20-25% of toddlers
        • Insecure resistant attachment (Type C)
          • Seek greater proximity explore less
          • Huge stranger and separation anxiety but resist comfort when reunited with the ir caregiver
          • 3% of British toddlers


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