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AS Psychology ­ Attachment
What are attachments?
When both the mother and baby feel a close and reciprocal emotional link that ties them
What is a bond?
A bond is a set of feelings that ties one person to another e.g. when a mother feels for her
baby still…

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Indiscriminate attachment phase (3-7/8 Discriminate between familiar and
months) unfamiliar people, smiling more at known
people but still allows strangers to look
after them.
Discriminate attachments phases (7/8 Develop specific attachments by staying
months onwards) close to particular people and distressed
when separated. Avoid unfamiliar faces
and protest if stranger…

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Supportive co-parenting ­ the amount of support a father gives to his partner in
helping to care for children affects type of attachment.
Supporting case studies:
Geiger (1996) father interactions are more fun than mothers as mother's
interactions are more nurturing and affectionate. This supports idea that fathers
are playmates…

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Stranger re-enters and
offers to comfort and
play with baby.

The findings were:

% Type of Description Mother's behaviour

20 Insecure Avoidant Unconcerned by mother's Unresponsive.
absence. Unresponsive upon
Child feels unloved and
return. Strongly avoidant of
mother and stranger.

70 Secure Upset, subdued when mother Sensitive and…

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Infants showed signs of distress although they could be withdrawn from the
observation if too distressed.
Doesn't acknowledge infant's past experience ­ e.g. used to spending time in day
care so not upset when mother leaves the room
It may be measuring temperament ­ kagan suggests the child could have…

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The learning theory Bowlby Monotropic theory
The learning theory suggest that all behaviours Bowlby believed that children
including attachments are learnt and that we are evolve to display behaviours that
born with a tabula rasa/blank slate. This theory keep them close to proximity
focuses on rewards from the caregiver in…

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emphasises the importance of studying Research has shown that children are
things that can be directly observed. able to form attachments well beyond the
critical period. Cases of severely neglected
children show that children are able to
form attachments beyond 2 years (Czech
twins, isolated by mum from 18months to…

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a cupboard) they were then looked after by 2 loving adults and had fully
Failure to distinguish between deprivation and privation ­ Rutter argues that
Bowlby had confused the 2 concepts and may actually be looking into privation not

Effects of institutionalisation ­
Privation ­ a failure to…

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were compared to a control group who had been raised at home. The children were
assessed at regular intervals up to the age 16. By the age of 4, 24 of the institutionalised
children had been adopted, 15 of them had returned to their natural homes and the rest


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