Explanations of attachment: Bowlby's theory

Why attachment forms

Lorenz, imprinting -> Bowlby similar process for humans. Attachment behaviour evolved b/c serves important survival function - infant not attached less well protected. 

Important attachments formed in 2 directions - parents attached to infants as well to ensure cared for + survive.

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How attachment forms

Critical period - babies have innate drive to become attached, do it in time period (3-6 months). If don't form attchment then, have difficulty forming attachments later on. Bowlby proposed attachment determined by sensitivity - views influenced by Ainsworth (strange situation).

Social releasers - ensure attachments develop from parent -> infant, eg smiling - elicit caregiving. Innate mexhanisms, explain how attachments to infants formed.

Monotropy - one special emotional bond - primary attachment - usually bio mother, not always. Secondary attachements formed after, provide emotional safety net, important for psych + social development. 

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Consequences of attachment

Importance of monotropy - infant 1 special relationship + forms internal working model, which has several consequences:
 - ST - gives child insight into caregiver's behaviour, enables child to influence caregiver's behaviour, true partnership formed
 - LT - acts as template for all future relationships b/c generates expectations about what intimate, loving relationships like.

Continuity hypothesis - strongly attached necome socially + emotionally competent. Not strongly attaches - social + emotional difficulties in childhood + adulthood. 

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Evaluation - Strengths

Sroufe et al (2005) - Minnesota parent-child study - securly attached highest rated for social competence in later childhood. Longitudinal study.

Prior + Glaser (2006) - review of research, evidence points to hierarchal model as suggested by Bowlby's concept of monotropy.

Attachment late - when infant's start crawling around 6 months, attachment vital, therefore when it develops, theresuport supports view it's adaptive.

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Evaluation - Weaknesses

Sensitive period rather than critical - Rutter et al.

Kagan (1984) - alternative explanation - temperament hypothesis, proposes infant's innate emotional personality may explain attachment behaviour as those w/ 'easy' temperament more likley to be strongly attached b/c easier for them to interact w/ others.

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