The strange situation:
- Developed the strange situation to assess the quality of child's attachment to a caregiver.
- controlled observation lab study with a two-way mirror
- five categories used:
- 1. proximity seeking
- 2. exploration and secure based behaviour
- 3. stranger anxiety
- 4. separation anxiety
- 5. response to the caregiver after separation
- The procedure has seven episodes each lasting 3 mins.
- 1. the child was encouraged to explore by the caregiver.
- 2. Stranger enters and talks to the caregiver
- 3. Caregiver leaves
- 4. The caregiver returns and the stranger leaves
- 5. The caregiver leaves the child alone
- 6. the stranger returns
- 7. the caregiver returns.
Ainsworth found distinct patterns in the way infants behaved. Therefore she identified three main attachment types.
- Secure attachment: 60-75% of British toddlers, Child is happy to explore but seeks proximity with caregiver, shows moderate separation and stranger anxiety. Requires and accepts comfort on reunion.
- Insecure-avoidant: 20-25% of British toddlers, Child explores freely but does not seek proximity, shows little/no separation or stranger anxiety and does not require comfort…