Social Development - Early Relationships

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Work of Schaffer

Attachment = Long enduring, emotionally meaningful tie to a particular individual.

Tie is characterised by a desire for CLOSENESS or PROXIMITY to particular individual.

SEPARATION causes DISTRESS when tie is broken or disrupted.

Attachment object offers comfort and acts as a source of security.

SCHAFFER AND EMERSON studied 60 babies and found these attachment types at different stages/ages.

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Stages of Attachment

ASOCIAL (0-6 weeks) - babies respond to both people and objects although they prefer 'human-like' stimulus.

DIFFUSE (6 weeks-6 months) - Babies show no preference for an individual and can be comforted by anyone.

SINGLE STRONG ATTACHMENT - (7-12 months) - Babies show strong preference to individual and fear of strangers.

MULTIPLE ATTACHMENTS (12 months+) Babies show attachment towards several figures. By 18 months some infants have as many as 5 attachment figures.

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