Multiple attachments + the role of the father

  • Created by: BronwynY
  • Created on: 24-08-21 10:37

Multiple attachments

Multiple attachments happen often, but how important are they? Researchers arent sure on the importance of these bonds compared to the primary one.

Bowlby says they're not as important

Rutter considers all types of attachments important

and Schaffer + Emerson say theres no differentitation between beh in primary + secondary attachments, both are treated as being the same.

Maybe multiple attachments are formed with diffferent people for a reason, a baby has no choice of their primary attachment but maybe they chose their multiple attachments?

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Role of the father

Early research focuses on the mother, and the father is given a minor role. This is a misogynistic and sexist approach. 

Father is considered less important in attachment research is because of the idea that men aren't biologically suited to raising children. They traditionally went to work while the mothers stayed at home. So it could be the baby responding this way in all these studies only to the mother and may respond differently to the father.

Modern families are more diverse than those used in early research, culturally as well.

Bowlby said that yes the PCG most of the time is the mother, but it can sometimes be the father. He said that the father gives a different care. Often a more of a playmate than caregiver.

Geiger in (1996) found with the father the play is more physical and unpredictable however the mother plays more of a nurturing role and gives consistent attention.

Lamb in (1987) found children preffered their fathers when feeling +ve, but preffered their mothers when sad or seeking comfort. The fathers are playmates but only in certain situations.

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Factors affecting relationship of fathers + childr

1. Degree of sensitivity - More sensitive to child's needs = more secure attachment

Hrdy in (1999) found the father is less able to detect low levels of infant distress compared to mothers, so less sensitive to child's needs.

Is this sociobiological? (evolutionary)

Lamb (1987) Found that fathers who were main carers are able to do this, so sensitive responses may be situational rather than biological?

2. Type of attachment they had with their own parent - Single-parent fathers tended to form simialir attachments with their own child

Barnier + Miljikovitch (2009) found this was not the case of married fathers, only single-parent fathers.

If fathers didn't have a good relationship with their dad, they often had the same with their own child. OR went the other extent and over compensated.

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Factors affecting relationship of fathers + childr

3. Marital intamacy 

Belsky in (2009) Found that how close the father is with the mother affected the type of relationship/attachment he has with the child

4. Supportive co-parenting

Brown et al (2010) Said the amount of support the parents bothe give affects and links to the attachment type. Theres no impact in the attachment between mother + infant, it's more important for fathers to develop a relationship.

The dads lose more (than mum) if thy don't take part in supportive co-parenting.

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  • > Shows children with +ve attachments with their father have been found to have a better relationship with their peers and have less emotional issues later. Showing fathers can have a positive effect.
  • > On the other hand, children without a father growing up have been found to do poorer in school, be more aggresive and risk taking. So maybe fathers help to prevent negative developmental outcomes.
  • Pederson (1979) Stated that most research included single mothers from low socioeconomic backgrounds, meaning they're already disadvantaged and the mother my be there most of the time due to long hours of work. (stereotypically) So maybe it's more to do with these factors than the absence of the father.
  • Grossman in (2002) did a longitudinal study into both parents behaviour and quality of attachment with child (into teen years) 
  • Found the quality of the relationship between infant + mother was a better indicator of adolescent beh than between the father + infant. So maybe the relationship with the father is less important.(than mothers)
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> Do children need both parents as attachment figures?

  • Golombok in (2004) - children from single - or same-sex families don't develop any differently than those in 2 parent households
  • Maybe not just father’s role really not that important
  • It's just important that someone is there to bring up the child who is a decent human being

> HOWEVER research into the role of the father is socially sensitive

  • Only considers one way of bringing up a child + alternate arent the norm
  • Culture bias as western perspective of family seen as the norm
  • Has negative impact on single- or same-sex families as the “norm” suggests they “need” the father to play a role
  • Otherwise you're to blame if the child develops issues later.
  • Implies mother should stay at home and be carer, not working/studying.
  • Separation would impact on reciprocity + interactional synchrony
  • Blame the mother? (If she is selfish enough to have a carreer then it's her fault)
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