Attachment Theory Essay

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Attachment theory (John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth) The attachment theory is based on the collaboration of both John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. The theory describes the dynamics of long-term relationships between humans especially as in families and life-long friends. Bowlby basically said that early experiences in childhood have an important influence on development and behavior later in life. Our attachment styles evolve during childhood based on the relationships we have with our parent or caregiver. The attachment theory is a psychodynamic theory. Psychodynamics is defined as the systematic study and theory of the psychological forces that underline human behavior, emphasizing the interplay between unconscious and conscious motivation. Bowlby broke down his theory into four characteristics of attachment. Safe haven which is when the child feels threatened or afraid, he or she can return to the caregiver for comfort and soothing. Secure base which is basically when the caregiver provides a secure and dependable base for the child to explore the world. Proximity maintenance; when the child strives to stay near the caregiver, thus keeping the child safe. Finally, separation distress which is when separated from the caregiver, the child will become upset and distressed. Ainsworth in short reinforced the same concepts that Bowlby had for attachment and introduced a few new concepts of her own. Ainsworth explored her “Strange Situation” study. Her study involved observing children between the ages of 12 to 18 months responded to being briefly left alone and then were reunited with their parent. Based on these observations, Ainsworth concluded that there were three major styles of attachment: secure attachment, ambivalent-insecure attachment, and avoidant-insecure attachment. I like the attachment theory. Why? Simply because I agree with what it says. The
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