Schaffer and Emerson

Summary of Schaffer and Emerson in psychology attachment

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Schaffer and Emerson

Aim: to investigate about development of attachments, what age infants become attached, do infants form multiple attachments, was the main attachment to the person who feeds them (primary caregiver).

Procedure: Longitudinal study, 2years, 60 infants between 5 and 23 weeks, mothers kept diary and researchers observed every month for one year, then again at 18 months.

Measured in 2 ways: *separation protest- mother placed baby in 7 everyday situations, *stranger anxiety-each visit, researcher approached baby and recorded when it cried etc. } these are both signs of attachment.

*6-8 month’s first attachment, stranger anxiety appeared one month after attachment was formed.

*individual differences because of mothers response

*multiple attachments were formed soon after the main attachment. By 18 months, 13% had main attachment formed. 31% had 5 or more attachments. 65% of first attachments were with the mother.

*39% of infants attachments were with the mother, though she was not the person who bathed, fed or changed the child.

Conclusion: went against bowlby’s theory, showing multiple attachments were the norm

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