Bowlby's Theory of Attachment

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  • Created by: weronika
  • Created on: 12-05-14 15:00

Hazen and Shaver - "The Love Quiz"

The Love Quiz

hazen and Shaver ask the question "is love in adulthood directly realted to the attachment types of a child?". They put a love quiz in their local newspaper in N.Americ asking people to write into the paper and report. They had to pick from the 3 descriptions that sutied their feelings/experiences about romantic realtionships. People then ticked from a chelist of simple adjectives words which best descirbed their childhood realtionship with parents.

The Results: 2 seperate groups were tested; 1. 215 men and 415 women randomly selected from responses to the newspaper article and 2. 108 undergraduate students at their university. There was a strong relationship between childhood attachment type and adult attachment: SECURE ATTACHMENTS; a belief in lasting love, confidence and trusthworth. ANXIOUS AVOIDANT TYPES; doubtful about the existence of real love, felt you don't need a relationship to get the most out of life. ANXIOUS AMBIVALENT TYPES; fell in love easily and often but rarely found true love. Insecure and experienced self-doubt in love. 

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Zimmerman et al

Longituinal study of 44 children in Germany. Attachment type was assessed at 12-18months based on how the reacted to separtation and strangers. Reassed at age 16 using interviews with focused on parental realtionships. Life events also recorded, such as parental divorce or death. Results showed that childhood attachment types was not a good predictor of attachments in adolesence. The impact of serious life events such as divorce was more important. Contuniuty therefore may only apply if the child has not experienced serious life events or the impact these had on the child. 

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Main and Goldwyn

Bowlby's theory does seem to 'sentence' people to poor adult relationships if they have had poor relationships in childhood. This is not strictly ture. People who have had difficult childhoos and secure attachments may go on to develop secure adult realtionships.

This is known as EARNED SECURITY.

These can come from a psitive school experience for example.

Rutter and Quinton, 1988, fond that women with a range of difficult early experiences developed security if school and their adult relationships were positive.

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Shaffer adn Emerson - Glasgow Babies

They expolred the gradual development of attachments. They tested 60 babies in Glasgow. Visited monthly for the 1st year of their life and then at 18 months oldd. They considered two types of behaviour:

1. Seperation anxitey - if the baby is distressed when caregiver leaves them

2. Stranger distress - if baby showed signs of distress when a stranger approached.

They collected their data via observation and intereviews, asking mothers how babies behaved with babysiters - asked to rate baby's behaviour on a 4 point scale; 0 = no protest, 4 = crying loydly every time.

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