Attachment affects on relationships


Childhood Relationships: Rowan Myron & Peter Smith

Aim: To investigate if attachment type is associated with the quality of peer relationships.

Method: Assessed attachment type and bullying using standard questionnaires using 196 children aged 7-11 from London.

Results: Securely attached children were very unlikely to be involved in bullying. Insecure avoidant children were the most likely to be the victims & insecure resistant children were the most likely to be the bullies.

Conclusion:  The more secure the attachment is, the less likely it is for a child to be a  bully or bullied.

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Childhood Relationships: Rowan Wilson & Peter Smit

G: Only studied children from London - ethnocentric. :(

V: Low internal validity: Social desirability - people tend not to answer truthfully, particularly on issues of relationships, as a way of wanting to make themselves look good. :( 

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Romantic Relationships: Hazan and Shaver

Aim: To investigate if there was a correlation between the infant's attachment type and their future approach to romantic relationships.

Method: Analysed 620 replies to a ‘love quiz printed in an American newspaper. Quiz had 3 sections; the first assessed the respondents current or most important relationships. The second assessed general love experiences such as no. of partners. The third assessed attachment type by asking respondents which of the 3 statements described their feelings. 

Results: 56% of respondents were securely attached. 25% were insecure-avoidant & 19% were insecure resistant. Those who were securely attached were most likely to have good & long-lasting romantic experiences & the insecure-avoidant were more likely to reveal jealousy and fear of intimacy.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that patterns of attachment behaviour are reflected in romantic relationships. 

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Romantic Relationships: Hazan and Shaver GRAVE

G: Sample technique: sample was only selected to those who read that particular American newspaper - poor way of selecting participants as it’s not generalizable to the rest of the world. :(

R: If we are not securely attached as infants, we become pessimistic about people's futures. Therefore, this is a weakness because by emphasizing the risk of experiencing problems if not securely attached, not reliable. :(

A: Yes for future relationships, for example - if you’re insecure-avoidant, it’s useful to know that you might need to work on jealousy issues; which can be done through self-help books, therapy, etc.  :)

V: Retrospective data: data relies on participants’ memories - high chance that it’s inaccurate as they are required to report events of the past (they might not remember it that well) and using that as data for the experiment, questions the validity. :(

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Adult relationships: Bailey (2007)

Aim: To investigate if the IWM can predict the patterns of attachment.

Method: Assessed 99 mothers with one-year old babies on the quality of their attachment to their own mothers using a standard interview procedure. The researchers also assessed the attachment of the babies to the mothers by observation. 

Results:  It was found that the mothers who had reported poor attachments to their own parents in the interviews were much more likely to have children that were classified as poor attachments according to the observations.

Conclusion: This supports the idea that the IWM of attachment was being passed through the families. Early attachments will later affect later relationships, especially mother & infant relationships.

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Adult relationships: Bailey (2007) GRAVE

G: Gynocentric- only assessed women. Shows that IWM only more crucial for men as they don’t have biological attachment to infants like women. :(

R: Reliable as it uses standard interview and observation as well as the strange situation replication. :)

V: Lacks validity - many assessments of early attachments & current-day attachments rely on questionnaires & interviews as a way of categorizing participants as a specific attachment type. However, this data relies on participants' memories which means that there’s a high chance that the data being collected in the study is inaccurate - questions the validity of the findings. :(

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