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The evolutionary explanation of
attachment
Outline (AO1) Evaluation (AO2)
· Bowlby believed that attachments + Supported by Harlow who separated
are instinctive, innate behaviours baby monkeys from their mother
which have evolved as a way to and found that the baby monkeys
ensure survival preferred the soft monkey to the
· Babies possess social emitters which wire monkey
make others want to look after them + Supported by Lorenz who found that
· Monotrophy, one main attachment baby geese instantly attach to the
· Sensitive period, attachment formed first thing they see in order to help
from 6 months to 3 years them survive and learn how to
behave
· Internal working model, provides a
prototype of how relationships + Attachments can be formed after 3
work years which contradicts the sensitive
period
· Continuity hypothesis, attachment
formed as a child will affect their + It argues that a lack of attachment
adult relationships during the sensitive period means
poor later life experience…read more

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Types of attachment
Outline (AO1) Evaluation (AO2)
· Mary Ainsworth conducted the strange
situation ­ a controlled lab observation ­ + High internal validity
with American children aged between 12- + Low ecological validity
18 months
· The observation involved 8 episodes, each + It is possible that the babies
lasting around 3 mins where a baby was were reacting to the strange
left alone by its mother, left with a
stranger, attempted to be comforted by a environment of the lab as
stranger and finally reunited with its opposed to being left by their
mother
· Ainsworth found that the babies fell into mum
three broad attachment types + It is not possible to generalise
· Type A ­ avoidant 15%, avoided emotions
· Type B ­ secure 70%, likes the mother
to all cultures as it was only
· Type C ­ resistant 15%, resists the mother conducted on a small sample
· Ainsworth believed that a child's of American babies, therefore
attachment depended on how quickly and not representative
sensitively mothers attended depended on
how quickly and sensitively mothers
attended to their babies
· Secure babies had responsive and sensitive
mums whereas insecure babies had
inconsistent mums who either ignored or
responded inconsistently to their baby's
needs…read more

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Cultural variations in attachment
· Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg carried out a meta-analysis of 32
Strange Situation in different countries:
­ UK ­ Type A: 22%, Type B: 75%, Type C: 3%
­ Israel ­ Type A: 7%, Type B: 64%, Type C: 29%
­ Germany ­ Type A: 35%, Type B: 57%, Type C: 8%
· The researchers believed that differences in attachment were largely due
to how parents across the globe raise their children. It shows similar
findings to those discovered in Ainsworth's US study though there were
definitely cultural variations.
· In Germany for example, children are encouraged to be independent and
so are less likely to show a secure attachment as they will not use their
mums for a safe base as much as other children. This does not mean that
they are not securely attached, just that they are less reliant on their main
caregiver.
· In Israel, children are often brought up in a Kibbutz. This means that they
will demonstrate more Type C behaviours as they will be very worried
about the stranger and very clingy to mum because they don't
understand what is going on.…read more

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Disruption of attachment
Outline (AO1) Evaluation (AO2)
· Robertson and Robertson + This research gives us a
conducted case studies of valuable insight into how
children who were naturally
separated from their mothers for children cope when
short periods of time in the separated
1940s and 50s + Low external validity
· The researchers found that all
children go through the + Children will also react
following three stages: protest, differently depending on
despair, detachment where they are left and how
· After separation has ended, old they are when left
some children continue to show
the effects of short-term
separation for many months.
They may become clingier or
show increased anxiety at being…read more

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Privation
Outline (AO1) Evaluation (AO2)
· Privation occurs when an individual + The research can be used to
suffers a complete lack of support Bowlby and makes it
attachment, it can be physical or very clear what can happen
emotional when children are unable to
· Curtiss studied Genie who had form attachments
suffered from privation for the first + Rutter supports Curtiss' as he
13 years of her life. Privation caused showed that privation causes
numerous bad effects including severe emotional and social
poor physical development, lack of problems in later life
speech and emotion tantrums. + Genie is only one person, not
Some progress was made with generalisable because of the
making attachments but Genie many individual differences and
suffered further bad care in foster extraneous variables
homes and regressed dramatically + Hodges and Tizard show that it is
despite some intensive support, possible to make attachments
Genie was only partially able to after privation
make progress with her speech,
behaviors and attachments. This
shows that if attachments are not
formed in the sensitive period,
there may some long-lasting…read more

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