Early Social Development

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Early Social Development

Attachment: Shaffer (1993) an attachment is a 'close emotional relationship between two persons characterised by mutual affection and desire to maintain proximity'.

Infant-caregiver attachment characteristics

  • Seeking proximity- wanting to be near eachother
  • Separation anxiety- a mutual feeling of upset if separated
  • Pleasure when reunited with the main caregiver

It is important to recognise that all attachments are reciprocal, both partners must be involved for the bond to be forged.

Stages of attachment

Shaffer and Emerson (1964)

They argue that infants go through 3 stages in the early development of attachment to others.

1. Asocial stage (0-6 weeks)

Smiling and crying, not directed at any special individual 

2. Indiscriminate attachment (6 weeks-7 months)

Attention sought from different individuals

3. Specific attachments (7-11 months)

Strong attachment to one individual, good attachments to others oftern follow



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