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Child Psychology

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Attachment is an emotional bond between two people, which endures over time and
where separation leads to anxiety and distress.

Bowlby's Theory of Attachment

Bowlby's Definition of Attachment:
A warm and continuous loving relationship with one person (monotropy). It is a two
way process.

Bowbly's Theory
Typically, attachment occurs…

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One strength of Bowlby's theory is that it has practical applications. Before
Bowlby's theory was commissioned, children had to stay in hospital on their own,
which caused them a lot of distress. After the theory was brought to public attention,
parents were actively encouraged to stay with their…

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Ainsworth studied 26 families and observed the interactions between the
mother and child.
She also interviewed mothers about their sensitivity.
Ainsworth identified 3 patterns of attachment: securely attached, insecurely
attached and not yet attached.
Mothers that knew a lot about their baby and were sensitive to their needs…

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Ainsworth ­ The Strange Situation

Following the observations in Uganda, Ainsworth developed the strange
situation procedure.
It is a structured observation using a standardised procedure so that each
mother and child has the same experience, allowing the responses to be
carefully recorded for comparison.

There are 8 stages to the…

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Attachment Types and Results of USA Study

Securely Attached
Children used their mother as a safe base for exploration.
Children were distressed when their mother left and showed separation
Children wanted comfort from their mother when she returned.
In the USA study, 70% were securely attached.

Anxious Avoidant

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Evaluation of Ainsworth's ideas of Attachment


Ainsworth has worked in the field of attachment for many used meaning she can
draw on a wealth of data. She has carried out many studies including the strange
situation, and has drawn similar conclusions for each, therefore the conclusions she
has made…

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The Stange Situation - Cross Cultural Studies

Japan ­ Takahashi (1990)
60 middle class babies were used.
68% showed secure attachment, 0% were anxious avoidant and 32% were
anxious resistant.
Japanese mothers almost never leave their children, particularly alone with a
Japanese babies sleep with their parents until at…

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Evaluation of Cross Cultural Studies of the Strange Situation

It could be concluded that cultural differences lead to different attachment patterns.
However, it is NOT TRUE that children outside of the USA are worse off because of the
differences in secure attachment. We should really look at whether the cultural…


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