Stages of attachment

  • Created by: Georgia
  • Created on: 02-05-19 10:20
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  • Stages of attachment
    • Pre-attachment phase (birth to 3 months)
      • Infants become attracted to other humans, preferring them to objects
    • Indiscriminate attachment phase (3 to 7/8 months)
      • Infants choose between familiar and unfamiliar people
        • Smiling at known people, still allowing strangers to handle them
    • Discriminate attachment phase (Between 7 and 9 months)
      • Infants develop specific attachments
      • Stay close to particular people and showing distress upon separation
      • Avoid strangers and will protest if a stranger tries to handle them
    • Multiple attachments stage (From 9 months)
      • Strong bonds with other major caregivers and non-caregivers
        • Major caregivers include grandparents
        • Non-caregivers include other children
      • Fear of strangers weakens, attachment to mother is the strongest
      • 31% of children in study had 5 or more attachments by 18 months
    • Evaluation
      • Children with multiple attachments are able to build more stable social relationships
      • Stages came from self-report by mothers
        • Retrospective data is unreliable and they are unlikely to write up everything (would avoid negative experiences)
          • Potential social desirability bias
      • Conducted in child's own home so more natural behaviour, high external validity
      • Sample bias and lacks population validity; working class Glaswegians can't represent the whole world
        • Difficult to generalise
    • Separation protest; display of protest when separated from mother


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