The Influence of childhood on adult relationships

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  • Created by: Cheyennee
  • Created on: 12-01-13 14:59



Claimed romantic love in adulthood is an integration of three behavioural systems aquired in infancy

Internal Working Model

Bowlby said future relationships are continued from early attachment styles

in extreme cases, a childs iwm can lead to attachment disorders, with characteristics of lack of responsiveness, excessive over familarity and reists/reject mutual intimacy

The Caregiving system

Knowledge of caring for another person based on monotropic bond

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The Sexuality system

is learned in relation to early attachments, if your attachment is avoidant, youre most likely to view sex without love as pleasurable

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Springer Et Al - physically abused victims are more likely to be angry, despressed and anxious than non abused victims

Sexual abused is linked to psychological impairment, sexually abused victims have difficulty forming healthy, romantic relationships

Alpert Et Al - Sexually and physically abused individuals develop the inability to trust and isolate themselves

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Qualter and Munn - children develop a sense of value through intereaction, this determines how they would approach adult relationships

Nangle - children relations are training grounds for important adult relations, having the experience of a friend to confide in promotes trust, acceptance and sense of being understood, characteristics that are vital in adult relationships

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Simpson (longitudinal study)

25 years observing 78 participants through infancy, childhood, adolscence and adulthood.


parents about attachment type, participants about close friends, teachers about peer interaction and participants partners about relationship experience

found securely attached more socially competent as children, more socially competent meant you were closer to friends at 16, closer to friends means more romantically expressive and more attached to partner

- Supports claim that early social development experience impacts adult relationships

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