explainations and types of attachment


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Explanations and Types of Attachment
Explanations of attachment: see Q. 10 Jan 2009
Outline and evaluate research into types of attachment:
Outline Evaluation
Attachment is the special bond that normally The Strange Situation has been criticised as
forms between an infant and caregiver. the study which forms the basis of the
existence of attachment types. For example,
Types of attachment were identified by it depends on observation which may be
Ainsworth. Securely attached infants are, for biased and there may be demand
example, confident to explore their characteristics if the carer changes their
environment and easily comforted on their normal behaviour.
mother's return. Different types of insecure
attachment have been indentified. For The Strange Situation has also been criticised
example, avoidant insecure attachment is as the basis of research into crosscultural
characterised by a lack of interaction types of attachment. It is claimed that it is
between caregiver and infant. enthnocentric, judging attachment types on
American parenting styles.
Types of attachment were established by the
Strange Situation procedure created by The maternity sensitivity hypothesis has been
Ainsworth. Infants and caregivers were criticised for being based on correlational
observed in a variety of short `episodes' also studies which cannot establish that it is carer
involving a stranger. sensitivity which causes attachment type. An
alternative explanation is that attachment type
Ainsworth also provided an explanation as to is the result of the infant's temperament of
why infants belong to different attachment birth.
types. This is the `maternal sensitivity
hypothesis' which states that a caregiver who Attempts to link insecure attachment in
responds sensitively to the needs of the infant infancy with poor relationships in adult life are
will create a securely attached relationship, also based on correlations. There are
but a lack of sensitivity leads to insecure obviously many other factors that could be
attachment. involved,
Research has also be completed on In spite of these criticisms, research on
crosscultural attachment types. A attachment types has been very important
metaanalysis showed that secure attachment and influential. For example, developments in
is the most common type in a range of child birth practices now emphasise the need
cultures, but that type of insecure attachment for greater contact between new born and
varies greatly between some cultures. mother to give their attachment process a
strong start.
In line with what Bowlby suggested, some
research suggests that an insecurely attached
child will show the same characteristics in
their adult relationships.

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