Attachment Theory Essay

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Attachment theory by Bowlby (1969 as cited in Berk, 2010) and contributions by Ainsworth (1978, as cited in Berk, 2010) is crucial to early childhood development. This paper will aim to define what really constitutes adversity for children by giving a brief overview of environmental stressors which can cause childhood adversity, and provide links with how attachment theory informs us that, having insecure attachments in early childhood is what really constitutes as childhood adversity. Furthermore, this paper will also aim to give a brief, but informative explanation of attachment theory and conclude by showing how attachment theory has expanded our previous understandings of adversity. When defining what really constitutes adversity for children we might look towards early exposure of environmental stressors such as parental and child physical health and mental health issues, poor housing, low socioeconomic status, parental unemployment, inadequate diet, complications during pregnancy and birth, parental infant neglect and maltreatment which includes physical, psychological and sexual abuse (Carlson,1998; Masten, Best and Garmazey (1990); Stanfeld, Head, Bartley and Fonagy (2008); Berk 2010). However with the informative research of Bowlby (1969 as cited in Berk, 2010) and Ainsworth (1978, as cited in Berk, 2010) into attachment theory, we must look deeper and scratch the surface and examine how experiencing adversity affects the parent's capacity to give consistent quality care to children. Without consistent quality care, lasting attachments are not formed and thus, children can potentially have detrimental impacts across it's life span. It should also be mentioned that research (Belsky, Campbell, Cohn and More 1996; Fish 2004; Vondra, Hommeding and Shaw 1999; Vondra, Shaw, Searingen, Cohen and Owens 2001 as cited in Berk, 2010) into children who are from

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