Introduction to attachment

  • Created by: DonaJ2002
  • Created on: 15-12-18 22:31

Attachment is a two way interaction between the infant and their caregivers. Responsiveness of the caregiver to the infant's signal has profound effects.

Caregiver-infant attachment occurs when the infant's meaningful social interaction with their caregiver and these interactions have important functions for the child's social development, for caregiver-infant attachment.

From birth infants and mothers (or other caregivers) spend a lot of intense pleasurable interaction time. Infants signals their alert phase to say they're ready for interaction. Caregivers pick up these signals and respond- depending on how skilfully they respond will make the attachment stronger. From 3 months, interactions frequently increase and infant and caregiver give close attention to each other's verbal signals and facial expressions.

Reciprocity describes caregiver-infant interaction being reciprocal, mother and infant responds to each other's signals and elicits a response. Brazleton described it as a couple's dance.

Interactional synchrony is the temporal co-ordination of micro-level social behaviour that describes caregiver and infant  interactions and occurs when they reflect both of their emotions and actions. This is important for caregiver-infant attachment development.

Isabella et al obsereved 30 mothers and infants together, assessed the degree of synchrony and the quality of their attachment. They found high levels of synchrony when there was betterattachment quality such as emotional intensity.

Attachment Figures:

Traditionally we thought in terms of mother-infant attachment. Schaffer and Emersonfound majority of the babies attached to their mothers first then, formed secondary attachments including fathers. 75% of the infants formed secondary attatchments with their fathers at 18 months- this was determined by how they protested when the father walked away (sign of attachment: Proximity= stay physically close, Separation anxiety and Secure base.)

Grossman did a longitudinal study looking at both parents' behaviour and how it links to inant's attachment quality into their teens. Quality with mothers was related to attachment into adolesence (youth) meaning that fathers' attachment was less important; father's quality of play was realated to attachment quality of adolesence, meaning that fathers do have an important role in attachment but to do with play and less


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