Describe and Evaluate one explaination of attachment

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Describe and Evaluate One Explanation Of Attachment
Attachment is the close emotional relationship between two persons with mutual affection
and desires for proximity. Attachment is important particularly in new born babies as it
increases the infant's chances of survival and research has shown it helps to provide a child
with the ability to form healthy relationships throughout life. Attachment can be seen in
many different species and generally is seen to have survival value.
Bowlby's theory on attachments (also known as the internal working model) states that
Infants and caregivers have an innate tendency to form attachments with each other. This
attachment can be seen through the presence of social releasers. If the baby is showing
behaviours that illicit a response like crying or smiling it means that their specific needs are
more likely to be responded to by their caregiver as it produces caring behaviour from
them(such as feeding and protection). Depending on how the baby is responded to by its
primary caregiver depends on how it will form relationships later on in life.
Children that are responded to when they need it and in an appropriate manner are more
likely to form secure attachments and form healthy relationships later on in life. For example
if a baby is picked up whenever it cried and fed as soon as it is hungry is most likely to form a
secure and healthy attachment to its primary caregiver. This type of attachment is made
evident through the infant showing separation anxiety when left by the mother and then
pleasure upon being reunited, furthermore when left with strangers they also show signs of
stress. On the other hand babies whose needs are only responded to some of the time (e.g.
only being picked up when the caregiver feels like it) are likely to form an insecure resistant
type of attachment. This type of attachment is evident when the baby shows distress upon
being parted with the mother and also when being reunited. Babies who are not responded
to well at all tend to become an ambivalent type. This is when a baby shows no sign of
distress when being parted or reunited with their primary caregiver and show no distress
when left with strangers either. The idea that the success of all future relationships depends
on their initial attachment to their primary caregiver is known as the continuity hypothesis.
Other aspects of Bowlby's explanation of attachment include Monotropy. He believed that
the child forms a primary attachment to one key figure (usually the mother) and a failure to
achieve this could result in an insecure attachment and the child could develop trust issues
as an adult. He also believed that there was a critical period within the first phase of an
infant's life in which attachments must be formed in order to be able to form relationships
with others later on in life. Bowlby's critical time period lasts from 6 months to two years. If
the child cannot form an attachment between this period of time than it can have a
detrimental effect on not only their ability to form relationships with others but also their
emotional, physical and intellectual development (as shown by Genie the girl who was locked
in a room with no human contact for 13 years).
German psychologist Konrad Lorenz's work on Goslings supports Bowlby's theory about
critical periods as the Goslings that he hatched that imprinted on him (as he was the first

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The continuity hypothesis is
also supported by Stroufe et al who found that children who were being rated as securely
attached by the strange Situation test has higher self-esteem, confidence and more
initiative than children who were not as securely attached. This is further supported by Hazen
and Shaver's love quiz, which found that people with more confidant and positive views on
romantic love had a more secure attachment to their primary caregiver as a child than those
who didn't.…read more


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