Attachment Revision Cards


A01 Infant Caregiver Interactions

Reciprocity - taking turns in a conversation (e.g) Jaffe et al)

Brazelton - mother anticipates infant signals, basis of attachment

Interactional synchrony -  coordinated behaviour 

Meltzoff and Moore - 3 day old babies imitate mothers 

Piaget - behaviour is pseudo - imitation (operant conditioning)

Murray and Trevarthen - infant distress if no response (supports innateness)

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AO3 Infant Caregiver Interactions

Testing infant behaviour is difficult as they are in constant motion 

Failure to replicate Meltzoff and Moore e.g Marian et al

Intentionally supported - no response to inanimate object (Anravanel and Deyong)

Individual differences - security of attachment associated with interactional synchrony (Isabella et al)

'Like me' hypothesis *Meltzoff) - interactional synchrony leads to Theory of Mind

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AO1 Development of Attachment

Schaffer and Emerson studied 60 infants and mothers from Glasgow and found 4 stages of attachments: indiscriminate attachments, beginnings of attachment, specific attachment, multiple attachment

The role of the father - changing social practices: increased exposure right lead to primary attachments 

Biological factors - women have hormones which encourage caringness 

Frank et al - men are primary attachment figures of share this role 

Secondary attachment - fathers are more playful (Geiger) and problem solving (WHite and Woolett) 

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AO3 Development of Attachment

Unreliable data - mothers of less securely attached infants would be less sensitive and possibly less accurate in their reports (systematic bias) 

Biased sample - working class population from 1960s, results may not generalise 

Multiple attachments - Rutter argued that all relationships are equivalent 

Cultural variations - Sagi et al

Stage theories of development - may be too inflexible 

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AO1 Animal Studies Attachment: Lorenz

Lorenz procedure - goose eggs incubated so first living they saw was their natural mother or Lorenz

Findings - goslings imprinted on Lorenz and followed him

Critical period - imprinting doesn't happen later it is innate

Long lasting effects - irreversible and related to mate choice (sexual imprinting)

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AO3 Animal Studies Attachment: Lorenz

Research support - Guiton et al

Imprinting issues - may not be irreversible and may be more than just learning

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AO1 Animal Studies Attachment: Harlow

Procedure - wire 'mothers', one cloth covered. Feeding bottle attached to one or other 

Findings - monkeys spent the most time with cloth-covered 'mother', whether or not feeding bottle was attached

Critical period - attachments must be formed before six months

Long-lasting effects - all motherless monkeys were abnormal socially and sexually

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AO3 Animal Attachment Studies: Harlow

Confounding variable - wire mothers faces were different, varied systematically with independent variable

Generalising to humans may not be justified but the findings were confirmed e.g Schaffer and Emerson 

Ethics - benefits may outweigh costs, but does not challenge findings

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AO1 Explanations of Attachment: Learning Theory

Learning theory (behaviourism) - all behaviours are learned rather than inherited

Classical conditioning - new conditioned response learned through association between a neutral stimulus (mother) and an unconditioned stimulus (food)

Operant conditioning - the reduction of discomfort created by hunger is rewarding so food becomes a primary reinforcer, associated with mother who becomes a secondary reinforcer 

Social learning - children model parents' attachment behaviours (Hay and Vespo

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AO3 Explanations of Attachment: Learning Theory

Animal studies - lack external validity because simplified view of human attachment 

Attachment is not based on food - Harlow showed it was contact comfort; supported by Schaffer and Emerson 

Learning theory can explain some aspects of attachment - attention and responsiveness are rewards 

Drive reduction - reducing discomfort does not explain secondary reinforcers 

Alternative explanation - Bowlby's theory 

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AO1 Explanations of Attachment: Bowlby's Monotropi

Bowlby's attachment theory (1969) - critical period - attachments form around 3-6 months and become increasingly difficult

Primary attachment figure - determined by caregiver sensitivity (Ainsworth)

Social releases elicit caregiving and ensure attachment from parent to infant

Monotropy - primary attachment has a special emotional role, secondary attachment provide safety net 

Internal working model - acts as a template for future relationships, creating continuity (continuity hypothesis)

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AO3 Explanations of Attachment: Bowlby's Monotropi

Attachment is adaptive

A sensitive period rather than a critical period (Rutter et al)

Multiple attachments - Bowlby's views are not contradictory because secondary attachments contribute to one single internal working model

Continuity hypothesis (Sroufe et al)

Temperament hypothesis - Kagan suggested that innate emotional personality determines attachment 

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AO1 Ainsworth's Strange Situation

Ainsworth et al - a systermatic test of attachment to one caregiver, situation of mild stress and novelty

Procedure - observations every 15 seconds of behaviours e.g contact seeking or contact avoidance 

Behaviours assessed - separation anxiety, reunion behaviour, stranger anxiety, secure base 

Findings, types of attachment - secure (65% type B), insecure avoidant (22% type A), insecure resistant (12% type C) 

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AO3 Ainsworth's Strange Situation

Other types of attachment - disorganised (type D)

High reliability - inter-observer reliability > 0.94

Real world application - Circle of security project

Low internal validity 

Maternal reflexive functioning (Raval et al)

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AO1 Cultural Variations in Attachment

Key Study - Van Ijzendoom and Kroonenberg - meta analysis of 32 studies using the Strange Situation from 8 countries 

Findings - secure attachment was the norm in all countries, greater variation within countries than between them

Cultural similarities - Efe infants (Tronick et al)

Cultural differences - more insecure attachment in German sample (Grossmann and Grossmann)

Cultural differences - no avoidant attachment in Japan sample (Takahashi)

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AO3 Cultural Variations in Attachment

Similarities may be due to global culture (Van Ijzendoom and Kronenberg)

Within countries there are cultural differences e.g rural versus urban Japanese (Van Ijzendoom and Sagi)

Cross cultural research - uses tools developed in one country in a different setting where it has a different meaning (imposed etic)

Culture bias - Rothbaum argues that attachment theory generally has a Western bias 

Indigenous theories - may be the solution though Posada and Jacobs suggest that there are universal attachment behaviours 

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AO1 Bowlby's Theory of Maternal Deprivation

Value of maternal care - children need a warm, intimate and continuous relationship with a mother or mother-substitute

Critical period - frequent and/or prolonged separations from a mother will have negative effects if they occur before the age of 2 and a half (critical period) or up to age 5 (sensitive period) if there is no mother substitute

Long term consequences - include emotional maladjustments or mental disorder such as depression 

Key Study - 44 juvenile thieves 

Findings - 86% of affectionless thieves had frequent separation before 2 compared with 17% of other thieves and 2% of control group 

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AO3 Bowbly's Theory of Maternal Deprivation

Emotional rather than physical separation is harmful (Radke-Yarrow)

Support for long terms effects (Bifulco et al)

Real world application - films of Laura brought about social change (Bowlby anf Robertson)

Individual differences - some children more resilient e.g securely attached children in TB hospital (Bowlby et al)

Deprivation vs privation - loss of care (deprivation) may not have as serious consequences as total lack of attachment (privation) (Rutter)

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AO1 Romanian Orphan Studies: Effects of Institutio

Key Study: Rutter et al, (ERA) - 165 Romanian orphans, physcial, cognitive and social development tested at regular intervals 

Findings - at age 11, those children adopted before 6 months showed good recovery, older adoptions associated with disinhibited attachment 

Canadian study: Le Mare and Audet - Romanian orphans physically smaller at adoption by recovered by age 10 

Romanian study: Zeanah et al - institutionalised Romanian orphans compared to control group more likely to display disinhibited attachment 

Effects of institutionalization - physical underdevelopment (deprivation dwarfism, Gardner), intellectual underfuntioning (Skodak and Skeels), disinhibited attachment, poor parenting (Quinton et al)

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AO3 Romanian Orphan Studies: Effect of Institution

Individual differences - some children appear to recover despite no apparent attachments within sensitive period 

Real life application - adoption should be as early as possible and then infants securely attached (Singer et al) 

Longitudinal studies - show that some changes take a while to become apparent, current studies show some recovery possible 

Deprivation is only one factor - most institutionalised children experience multiple 'risks', thus maternal deprivation should not be over exaggerated 

Institutionalisation may be slow development - the fact that children do appear to recover in time suggests that the effects simply slow down development 

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AO1 The Influence of Early Attachment

Internal working model - model of self and attachment partner based on their joint attachment history which generates expectations about current and future relationships 

Key Study: Hazan and Shaver - place 'love quiz' in newspaper and analysed 620 responses

Findings - positive relationship between attachemtn type and love experiences/attitudes 

Behaviours influenced by internal working model - childhood friendships (Minnesota child parent study), poor parenting (Quinton et al) romantic relationships (Hazan and Shaver) and mental health (attachment disorder)

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AO3 The Influence of Early Attachment

Correlational research - internal working model may not cause later relationship experiences, temperament may be intervening variable 

Retrospective classification - childhood attachment type based on memory of childhood which may be inaccurate, though support from longitudinal study (Simpson et al)

Overly determinstic - past attachment experiences do not always determine the course of future relationships 

Low correlations - a meta analysis of studies suggest correlations between early attachments and later relationships may be as low as 0.10 

Alternative explanation - adult relationships guided by self-verification

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