Types of attachment

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Secure and insecure attachments are a type of attachment bond that may be established between any two individuals. 

The Strange Situation - Ainsworth and Bell (1970)

Aim: to see how infants (9-18 months) behave under conditions of mild stress. It tests stranger anxiety and separation anxiety. It tests the secure base concept. 


1) parent and infant play 

2) parent sits while infant plays

3) stranger enters and talks to parent -- stranger anxiety assessed

4) parent leaves, infant plays, stranger offers comfort if needed -- separation anxiety

5) parent returns, greets infant, offers comfort if needed; stranger leaves -- reunion behaviour

6) parent leaves; infant leaves -- separation anxiety

7) stranger enters and offers comfort -- stranger anxiety

8) parent returns, greets infant, offers comfort -- reunion behaviour

Findings: they found similarities and differences in the ways that infants behaved.

Similarity = it was noted that exploratory behaviours declines from ep 2 onwards and the amount of crying increased. proximity-seeking and contact-maintaining behaviours intensified during separation and…


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