Influence of Early Experiences on Adult Relationships Essay Plan / Notes

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Relationships, Sheet 5 08.04.14
Discuss the influence of early
experiences on adult relationships (24
AO1: AO2:
Bowlby: The relationship between Waters et al: Retested adults for their
primary attachment figure and his/her attachment style 20years after the first test
infant creates an internal working and found that 72% of adults received the
model. This creates a template for same classification (high stability) as they did
future relationships ­ which is in infancy. This supports Bowlby's theory.
described as the continuity HOWEVER
hypothesis. Lewis et al: Reported a much lower stability
People who are securely attached as from their longitudinal study. They compared
infants, will form secure relationships attachment styles from 1yr to 18yrs and found
later in adulthood. that there was no strong evidence for
They are more likely to form lasting consistency over the 17years.
romantic relationships and to offer
secure attachment to their children.
Hazen & Shaver: Asked people to These results show support that early
complete a questionnaire on their relationships can affect those we form as
attitudes to love. They found that the adults.
distribution of categories was similar However, the results for this study is based on
to that observed in infancy. correlational analysis so we cannot establish
56% classified themselves as a cause and effect relationship. How do we
securely attached. know that their childhood experiences
24% said they were anxious avoidant influenced their results?
and 20% said they were anxious It is also based on a selfreport questionnaire
resistant. where many biases can arise (e.g. social
desirability bias and retrospective bias)
Anxious resistant = People enter into Senchak and Leonard: Anxiousresistant men
relationships quickly and become acquired their marriage licenses after shorter
angry when their love isn't courtships than secure or anxious/avoidant
reciprocated. men.
Anxious avoidant = People have Campbell et al: Anxiousavoidant people are
difficulty with trusting others and least likely to enter into romantic relationships:
developing trusting intimate they are most likely to keep their distance and
relationships. to say they've never been in love.
Campbell and Wilson: found that people form
different attachment styles in different
relationships. Whilst having one kind of
partner might result in our displaying a secure
attachment style, experiences another type
might make us more anxious.
There has been a lot of supporting evidence
suggesting that there is a relationship
between attachment style and later adult
relationships. Fraley conducted a

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Relationships, Sheet 5 08.04.14
metaanalysis of studies, and found strong
correlations between early attachment type
and later relationships.
There is the issue of continuity as not
everyone who has a bad childhood is
destined to have bad later relationships. It
may be the exception and not the rule.
Main et al: there was a strong association
between adults' attachment history and the
attachment styles of their own young children.…read more



very clear, thanks :) 

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