explanations of attachment: bowlbys theory


explanations of attachment: bowlbys theory


  • evidenced supporting the role of social releasers- cute baby behaviour designed to elicit integration from caregiver// brazelton observed babies triggering interactions from adults using social releasers, research her instructed caregiver to ignore social realises and babies become increasing distressed and eventually lay motionless
  • support for internal working model - Bailey assesses attachment with 99 mother and 1 yr olds and then measured attachment from mothers to their parents. also assessed attachment quality of babies- found mothers with poor attachment to parent more likely to have poorly attached babies


  • concept of monotropy lacks validity- schaffer and Emerson found most babies attach to one person but significant minority formed multiple attachments at same time. (attachment may be stronger but no different in quality)
  • counter.. other important influences on social development e.g genetic differences in anxiety and sociability affect social behaviour in babies and adults impacting parenting ability --meaning Bowlby may have overstated importance of internal working models in social behaviour and parenting at expense of other factors
  • feminist concerns- blaming mothers for anything wrong with child in future e.g mothers activity of retuning to work


- Bowlby may be incorrect that there is a unique quality and importance to Childs primary attachment + illustrates role of social releasers in emotion development and suggest importance in attachment process+ support bow levy idea mothers ability to form attachments to own baby influenced by their internal working models 


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