Attachment Essay

1800 Words8 Pages
Attachment Attachment is an emotional bond between a child and an adult. It is usually described as a stage process; Shaffer and Emerson (1964) observed how infants responded to the separation from their main carer between birth and 18 months. This has helped them define four stages in the process if attachment. 1. The beginning of social development | 2. Indiscriminate attachments | 3. Specific attachments | 4. Multiple attachments | 6 weeks – 3 months | 3 months – 7/8 months | 7/8 months | 8 months + | Babies start to be attached to people’s faces and voices. | Infants learn to recognise faces, show pleasure when they see familiar faces. Their attachments are indiscriminate, as they are happy to be with strangers as they prefer human company to being alone. | Babies start to miss close people in their lives and show signs of distress. Majority of infants will develop strong attachment. They also show wariness of strangers. | After making one strong attachment infants go on to form more attachments with other. This is important for social development. | Ainsworth: Quality of attachment: Mary Ainsworth has carried out research on attachment in the 1970’s. The aim of this study was to create a method of assessing quality of attachment by engaging an infant in a situation of mild stress and observing their behaviour. 100 middle-class American infants and their mothers were involved in the study. A method which was developed was controlled observation. The infants and their mothers had to be observed during a set of predetermined activities; which is known as the strange situation. The people, who were observing the infants’ and mothers’ behaviours, noted the following: * Separation anxiety: When the infant was left by the caregiver they showed nervousness. * The infant’s willingness to explore. * Strange anxiety: The infant’s reaction

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