Bowlby's Theory


Innate and Adaptive

Evolved because of survival and reproducted value

Innate drive to become attached to carer because it has long term benefits similar to imprinting

Feed and protect

Adaptive behaviour increases survival

Attachment genes are perpetuated

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Sensitive Period

Limited window for development of attachment

Happens fastest and easiest during the critical period

Second quarter of the first year infants are the most sensitive to the development becomes more difficult as they go on

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Social Releases

Social releases elicte caregiving like crying or smiling or the babies face

Caregiving is the innate response in adults

Provide protection and enhance survival

Formation depends on the interaction of the systems

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Secure Base

Important for protection

Secure base from which a child can explore the world

Returned when threatened

Encourages independence

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Infants can form multiple attachments

Bias to one individual as primary attachment called monotropy

Secondary attachment from hierarchy

Sensitive responses is key

Most attached to those who are most responsive to social releases

Primary attachment foundation for emotional development

Secondary attachment important for social development

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Internal Working Model

Attachments creates expectations about future relationships

Model is a cluster of concepts about what to expect from others

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The Continuity Hypothesis

Consistency between early emotional experience and later relationships

Securely attached continues socially and emotionally

Whereas insecurely attached have more social and emotional difficulties

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