Multiple attachments and the role of the father

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  • & The Role of the Father
    • Multiple Attachments
      • Children form multiple attachments, emotional bonds with several people
        • Importance of these attachments?
          • NOT IMPORTANT
            • Suggested by Bowlby (theory of monotropy)
              • Believed that  children had one prime attachment
                • & attachments to other people = minor importance compared to their main attachment bond
          • IMPORTANT
            • Suggested by Rutter(1995)
              • Proposed a model of multiple attachments
                • that saw all attachments as equal importance
                • these attachments combining together to help form a child's internal working model
      • Multiple attachments = formed to different people for different purposes
        • e.g. Mother = loving care vs. father = exciting un-predictable play + to grandparents, siblings and baby sitters
      • "The formation of emotional bonds with many carers"
    • ESSAY Q: "RESEARCH INTO THE ROLE OF THE FATHER"
    • Traditionally fathers have been less likely to be the primary attachment figure & play secondary attachment roles
      • REASONS
        • Schaffer & Emerson suggest that this is due to them playing traditional roles as the bread earner
        • Some would argue males are biologically unstable to raise children
          • = less psychologically eqipped to form close bonds.. unlike the mother
        • The role of the father is affected by culture and societies gender stereotypes
          • As it is seen as feminine to be sensitive to the needs of children --> encouraging masculine behaviour
      • HOWEVER
        • Change in society
          • It is the norm for mothers to have jobs
            • 2013: 5.3 million British mothers= employed
          • 9% of British single parents = male
          • Men = have a bigger role in parenting
        • Bowlby believed that a child's primary attachment could, in some cases be the father
      • Many researchers have seen the father less as a CAREGIVER, but more of a PLAYMATE
        • As fathers play is more physical, unpredictable  and exciting than mothers'
          • Mothers traditionally =  show sensitive responsiveness
        • Geiger (1996)
        • p.108 - Lamb (1987)
    • *Compare with mother*
  • 2) Type of attachment with own parents
    • single parent fathers form attachments w/ child as they had w/ their parents
      • 3) Marital Intimacy
        • Relationship with partner affects relationship with child
          • 4) Supportive co-parenting
            • The amount of support a father gives to his partner in helping care for children affects the type of attachment he will have with his children
  • secure attachments = fathers who show more sensitivity to their children's needs
    • 1) Degree of sensitivity
      • Important Factors that affect the relationship between fathers and children
    • 2) Type of attachment with own parents
      • single parent fathers form attachments w/ child as they had w/ their parents
        • 3) Marital Intimacy
          • Relationship with partner affects relationship with child
            • 4) Supportive co-parenting
              • The amount of support a father gives to his partner in helping care for children affects the type of attachment he will have with his children

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