A2 bowlby's evolutionary basis of attachment

bowlby suggested that a child should be close to a care giver for the first few years of their life in order for them to survive. this is because the child is protected against danger due to the presence of the care giver. children have the innate tendency to attach in order to aid their survival. they use proximity promoting behavious to keep their caregiver close, these proximiting promoting behaviours could be clinging, smiling, crying etc. and the proximity promoting behaviours cis more critical in the sensitivity period.

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  • Created by: mercymime
  • Created on: 09-10-13 21:03

bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis

  • bolwby suggested that children should have a primary attachment for the first few years of their life and this attachment should not be broken. 
  • this is because if there is no attachment or if the attachment is broke, it could cause developmental problems in later life. 
  • He also explained that children who suffer deprivation develop an internal working model and see themselves as unworthy of love. 
  • he also found out that maternal deprivation in early years can cause deliquency and affectionless psycopathy. 

+ supported by Bowlbys study of the juvinile thieves

+supported by Goldfarb who foun that early fostering make deprived children more stable

+supported by spitz and wolf who found out that children who were seperated from their mother for less than 3 months recovered quickly.

+has been found that mother-infant relationship is important for physical and social growth 

-not supported by Emerson and schaffer who argue that not only mother and child relationship is important for a child

-animal research used to support the study is invalid as there are differencee between animals and humans

-not generalisable to children from other cultures 

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evaluation of bowlby's theory of attachment


+supported by Harlows monkeys study where monkeys ran to a soft monkey model for comfort

+supported by Lrenz study in which she found that gooslings imprint

+supported by Bowlby's study off 44 juvenile thieves who experienced affectionless psychopathy due to maternal deprivation

+applicable to real life eg daycare substitute for chilfdren


-Harlow and Lorenz study were done on animals and cannot be generalisable to humans

-hos studdy lack a control group making it unreliable

-bowlby failed to distingguish between privation and deprivation

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