Schaffer's Stages of Attachment

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  • Schaffer's Stages of Attachment
    • Method
      • 60 babies, 31 male,  29 female
      • All babies from Glasgow, skilled working class families
      • Researchers asked mothers questions about the kind of protest their babies showed in seven everyday situations
      • Researchers assessed stranger anxiety and separation anxiety
        • Separation Anxiety= Distress shown by an infant when separated from an attachment figure
        • Sttranger Anxiety= Distressshown by an infant when approached by an unfamiliar person
    • Aim:
      • To investigate  the formation of early attachment , mainly at the age it developed
    • Findings
      • Between 25 and 32 weeks of age 50% of babies shown separation anxiety towards a particular adult (usually mother)
      • Attachment was show towards the caregiver who was most interactive and sensitive to infant signals and facial expressions
      • By 40 weeks 80% of the babies had a specific attachment and almost 30% displayed multiple attachments
    • Stages of Attachment (develop in 4 stages)
      • Stage 1: Asocial stafe
        • Baby recognises and forms bonds with carers
        • Behaviour towards non-human objects and humans are similar
        • Show preference for familiar adults e.g. ones that calm them
      • Stage 2: Indiscriminate Attachment
        • 2-7 months display more observable social behaviour
        • Accept cuddles and comfort from any adult do not show the two anxiety types
        • Indiscriminate attachment because attachment isn't different to any one person
      • Stage 3: Specific Attachment
        • Around 7 months babies start to display anxiety towards strangers
        • Become anxious when sepeartaed from a particular adult usually mother
        • Baby has performed specific attachment the adult is called the primary attachment figure
          • The one that offers the most interaction to the infant
      • Stage 4: Multiple Attachments
        • Extend the attachment behaviour with other adults they spend regular time with
          • Called secondary attachments
        • 29% children have secondary attachments within a month of forming primary attachment
        • 1yrs majority of infants develop multiple attachments


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