Bowlby's Theory (1958)

  • Created by: Lissilou
  • Created on: 01-05-14 19:09

Bowlby's Theory (1958)

Bowlby (1958) proposed that human infants have an innate tendency to form attachments to their primary caregiver, most often their mother.

Attachments are adaptive (their to aid in the survival of the child). If an infant has an attachment to a caregiver, they are kept safe, given food and kept warm.

Babies have social releasers, which 'unlock' the innate tendency of adults to care for them. These social releasers are both physical (the typical 'baby face' features and body proportions) and behavioural (crying, cooing, giggling, etc.).

Babies have to form the attachment with their caregiver during a critical period. This is between birth and 3 years old. Bowlby said that if this didn't happen, the child would be damaged for life - socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically. 

Bowlby believed that


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