Types of Attachment
The Strange Situation
This was used to test the nature of attachment.
To see how infants aged between 9-18 months behave under conditions of mild stress. Stress is created by the presence of a stranger and by separation from a caregiver. This tests stranger anxiety and separation anxiety. The Strange Situation also aims to encourage the infant to explore the new environment, testing the secure base concept.
The procedures consisted of 8 episodes, each designed to highlight certain behaviours.
1. Parent and infant play
2. Parent sits while infant plays - use of the parent as a secure base
3. Stranger enters and talks to parent - stranger anxiety
4. Parent leaves, infant plays, stranger offers comfort if needed - separation anxiety
5. Parent returns, greets infant, offers comfort if needed; stranger leaves - reunion behavior
6. Parent leaves, infant is alone - separation anxiety
7. Strangers enters, offers comfort - stranger anxiety
8. Parent returns, greets infant, offers comfort - reunion behaviour
Data was collected by a group of observers who record what the infant is doing every 15 seconds. Observers note down which of the behaviours is being displayed and scores the intensity of the behaviour.
Ainsworth et al (1978…