Schaffer's stages of attachment

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  • Created by: AK
  • Created on: 06-04-18 13:15
Method
60 babies - 31 male, 29 female from Glasgow working-class families. Visited every month for a year and again at 18 months. Asked mum questions about 7 everyday seperations
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Findings
Between 25 and 32 weeks 50% of babies showed seperation anxiety, usually to the mother
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Stage 1: Asocial stage (first few weeks)
Babies show some preference for familiar adults, and are also happier when in the presence of other humans
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Stage 2: Indiscriminate attachment
From 2-7 months display more observable social behaviour. Preference for people, and recognise and prefer familiar adults. No seperation or stranger anxiety
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Stage 3: Specific attachment
Around 7 months show stranger anxiety and seperation anxiety (mother in 65% of cases). Baby has a primary attachment figure
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Stage 4: Multiple attachments
Within a month of forming specific attachment, 29% had a secondary attachment. By the age of 1, majority of infants had multiple attachments
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Evaluation - good external validity
Observation done by parents and reported to researchers later, so behaviour was more natural
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Evaluation - longitudinal design
Same children followed-up and observed regularly, cross-sectional would have been quicker. Better internal validity as no confounding variable of participant variables
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Evaluation - limited sample characteristics
All families were all from the same district and social class - limitation. Results cannot be generalised
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Evaluation - problem studying the asocial stage
Babies are too young and have poor co-ordination and are pretty much immobile, so is difficult to judge observable behaviour
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Evaluation - measuring multiple attachment
Baby getting distressed when adult leaves the room doesn't mean they are an attachment figure, could just be a playmate
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Card 2

Front

Between 25 and 32 weeks 50% of babies showed seperation anxiety, usually to the mother

Back

Findings

Card 3

Front

Babies show some preference for familiar adults, and are also happier when in the presence of other humans

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

From 2-7 months display more observable social behaviour. Preference for people, and recognise and prefer familiar adults. No seperation or stranger anxiety

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Around 7 months show stranger anxiety and seperation anxiety (mother in 65% of cases). Baby has a primary attachment figure

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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