Bowlbys Monotropic Theory- ATTACHMENT


Bowlby's Monotropic Theory

This theory suggests that attachment is important for a childs survival, and that attchment behaviours in both babies and their caregivers have evolved through natural selection. This means that infants are biologically programmed with innate behaviours that ensure that attachment occurs.

Monotropy refers to when a child has an innate need to attach to one main attachment figure. This concept suggests that there is one relationship which is more important than the rest. Bowlby did not rule out the possibility of other attachment figures for a child, however he did believe that there should be a primary bond which was more important than any other (usually the mother) and then other attachments may develop below this eg grandparents, siblings, brothers etc

This theory also suggests that there is a critical period for developing at attachment (about 0-2.5 years) and if attachment has not developed during this time period then attachment may not happen at all.

The child's relationship with a primary caregiver provides an internal working model which influences later relationships. This model is a cognitive framework comprising mental representations for understanding themselves, the world and others. A person's interation with others is guided by memories


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