AS Psychology - Attachment - Key Terms

Does what it says on the tin: Just a few key words based on the Psychology topic 'Attachment'.

NB: Will add more as time goes on if I think of more!

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Key Terms


A strong emotional, reciprocal bond between two people, usually a child and it's primary care giver. It serves to maintain proximity between the infant and caregiver because the child feels distress when seperated. The attachment relationship serves as a basis for later emotional development.

Secure Attachment:

The optimal form of attachment, associated with healthy emotional and social development. Securely attached infants feel happy to explore a strange environment, using their primary caregiver as a safe base. They show some distress when left by caregiver, but are relatively easily comforted and show joy at reuinion. Securely attached children show stranger anxiety more ofthen than insecurely attached children.

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Key Terms

Insecure attachment:

Less optimal form of attachment, at least in Western culture. Insecurely attached children show disturbed behaviour during seperation and reunion. One type is Resistant Insecure: these children are distressed on seperation and resist reuinion with caregiver. Another type is Avoidant Insecure: these children are indifferent at seperation and avoid contact on reuinion. Insecurely atached children tend to have less usccessful relationshops with peers, lovers and their own children later in life.

Cross-Cultural Variation:

Differences between people of diverse cultures. A culture is a set of beleifs and customs that bind a group together, such as child-rearing practices. These practices may influence the kind of attachments so that people from different cultural groups have different kinds of attachments. These differences tell us something about the effects of child-reating practices on attachment.

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