Attachment

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Psychology AS Revision Module 1
Attachment
Theory of Attachment
(John Bowlby)
· Long term
· Affectionate bond
· Essential for survival
· Innate/evolutionary
· Maintain proximity
· Social releasers
· Monotropy
Attachment: a long lasting emotional bond with a particular person.
Infancy attachment: the relationship between the child and it's primary caregiver.
There are four signs that prove/demonstrate that there is a strong attachment...
· Safe base (exploration)
· Separation anxiety (distressed when apart)
· Reunion behaviour (happy when reunited)
· Stranger anxiety (Distressed with strangers)
Ainsworth and Bell: The Strange Situation (1970)
Aims:
· How to measure attachment
· To find out if there are different types of attachment
Procedure:
· 26 pairs of American mothers and their children
· For the first year of the child's life they took part in a naturalistic observation
ever 3-4 weeks for 3-4 hours
· When they were 1 year old they were bought into a lab to take part in a
controlled observation
Findings:
· Secure attachment (all 4 attachment behaviours) ­ 70% of pairs
· Insecure avoidant (negative attachment behaviours) ­ 10% of pairs
· Insecure resistant (slight safe base, severe separation and stranger anxiety, reunion
behaviour positive and then becomes a struggles) ­ 20% of pairs
Conclusion:
· Three ways to measure infancy attachment found
Criticisms:
· First study of it's kind, generated a lot of research
· Easy to replicate
· There was only a limited sample; which is harder to generalise with (sample used
was just middle class mothers and infants)
· Low ecological validity/mundane realism (can not be generalised with real life)
· Ethics- socially sensitive for mothers
· Ethics: stressful for child

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Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg: Cross Cultural Variations in Attachment (1988)
Aims:
· To find how different cultures effect attachment
· Different patterns within and between cultures
Procedure:
· The Strange Situation
· Meta-analysis (collected and analysed data from other studies)
· From 8 countries (UK, USA, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, China, Israel)
· 32 studies
· 2000 children
Findings:
· UK and USA were similar to Ainsworth and Bell's study
· Japan had no avoidant children, and quite a large percentage (32%) of resistant
children…read more

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