Attachment Theory Essay Conclusion

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The results of the study indicated that attachments were most likely to form with those who responded accurately to the baby's signals, not the person they spent more time with.

Schaffer and Emerson called this sensitive responsiveness.

The behavioral theory of attachment stated that the child becomes attached to the mother because she fed the infant.

Bowlby (1958) proposed that attachment can be understood within an evolutionary context in that the caregiver provides safety and security for the infant.

Rudolph Schaffer and Peggy Emerson (1964) studied 60 babies at monthly intervals for the first 18 months of life (this is known as a longitudinal study).

The children were all studied in their own home, and a regular pattern was identified in the development of attachment.In the 1930’s John Bowlby worked as a psychiatrist in a Child Guidance Clinic in London, where he treated many emotionally disturbed children.This experience led Bowlby to consider the importance of the child’s relationship with their mother in terms of their social, emotional and cognitive development.Many of the babies had several attachments by ten months old, including attachments to mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, and neighbors.The mother was the main attachment figure for about half of the children at 18 months old and the father for most of the others. One person may have an attachment to an individual which is not shared.Attachment is characterized by specific behaviors in children, such as seeking proximity to the attachment figure when upset or threatened (Bowlby, 1969).According to Bowlby infants have a universal need to seek close proximity with their caregiver when under stress or threatened (Prior & Glaser, 2006).Most researchers believe that attachment develops through a series of stages.Some babies show stranger fear and separation anxiety much more frequently and intensely than others, nevertheless, they are seen as evidence that the baby has formed an attachment. The baby becomes increasingly independent and forms several attachments.By 18 months the majority of infants have formed multiple attachments.

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