ATTACHMENT AS PSYCHOLOGY

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ATTATCHMENT
... a long enduring emotionally meaningful tie to a particular individual. The
object of the attachment is generally someone (most often a parent) who
returns the child's feelings, creating a tie can be extremely powerful and
emotionally laden in both directions.
Schaf
fer
(1996) ­
Phases
in
the
devel
opment
of
at
tachments:
Pre-attachment phase (birth to 3 months):
From about 6 weeks, babies develop an attraction to
other human beings
Prefer other people to physical objects and events, sow
this through smiling in response to peoples faces
They direct the "social smile" to just about anyone
Indiscriminate attachment phase (3 to 7/8 months):
Discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar people
Smiling much more at people they know, social smile has disappeared
Allow strangers to handle and look after them (not visibly distressed),
provided they're treated properly
Discriminate attachment phase (7/8 months onwards):
Develop specific attachments, they show this through:
Actively trying to stay close to particular people (especially the mother)
Becoming distressed when separated from them (separation anxiety).
The baby tell the difference between mum and other people
Not for another few months will it understand that mum continues to exist
even when she's out of sight
Avoid close contact with unfamiliar people
Some display of fear of strangers response which includes crying and
trying to move away usually occurs only if the stranger tries to make
contact with them
Multiple attachment phase (9months onwards):
Baby forms strong emotional ties with other major caregivers
(grandparents) and non-caregivers (other children)
Fear of strangers response weakens but the mother attachment is the
strongest

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The
Str
ange
Sit
uat
ion
­ Ai
nswor
th
(1978)
Mary Ainsworth designed an experiment to measure the type of attachment
between an infant and their caregiver. She called this The Strange Situation.…read more

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When feeling anxious they seek close bodily contact with their
caregiver and are easily soothed, though they may be
reluctant to leave their caregiver's side prematurely.
They seek and are comfortable with social interaction and
intimacy.
The securely attached infant uses the caregiver as a secure
base from which to explore and thus is able to function
independently.
Insecure ­ Avoidant
Avoid social interaction and intimacy with others.…read more

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Standardised procedure; study can be replicated easily and
accurately
A stable characteristic; The attachment types is often taken to
measure a fixed characteristic of the child but if the family
circumstances change (such as mothers stress levels), how the
child is classified can also change
Different parental relationships; attachments to the mother and
father are independent (child might be securely attached to its
mother but insecure to the father).…read more

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