Q: Outline and Evaluate Bowlby’s Theory. (12 Marks) Bowlby believed we are born with an innate tendency to form attachments. Bowlby believed that to help us attach we have inborn social releasers are our reactions. For example a baby might giggle to show happiness or cry to show sadness. The crying will act as an inborn social releaser as the mother will come to the aid of her child and try to comfort it always.
Find out more... Thus if women workers were not beingencouraged politically as an economic asset then child care policy provisionwas also diminished. Here Bowlbys ideas fueled policy through popularisingimages of home based child care and family values by experts. Rutter laterinfluenced changes through his findings of multiple attachment making inchildren - although stressed that continuity of attachment was important. Hewas in support of child day care as long as it was continuous and high quality,although a preference of parental care was suggested by Rutter.
This means that this theory is much more valid and so can be applied to real life situations such as ensuring that a baby is immediately given to the mother after birth to ensure that they become attached. Having said this, this theory lacks historical validity. This is because it is sexist as it was put forward before the feminist movement in which women gained much more independence and no longer remained the primary caregiver. In the modern day there are many fathers who stay at home to take care of the infant while the mother goes out to work, these children do not always go on to form emotional problems. This shows that this theory needs to be altered slightly so as to apply to the modern day.
Other people are involved in the baby’s life and it is possible for them to form attachments to their other family members/friends. Babies can think for themselves. These factors are also involved in the formation of attachment. Bowlby’s theory was influenced by Freud’s and the evolutionary theory in 1951. He was supported by the work of Lorenz and he suggested that attachment must be formed within a critical period before the child is 2 years old.
Bowlby was very much influenced by Lorenz’s (1935) study of imprinting which showed that attachment was innate and therefore has a survival value - during the evolution of humans it would have been the babies who stayed close to their mothers who would have survived to have children of their own. In turn, Bowlbys evolutionary theory of attachment suggests that children come into the world biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with their main caregiver – usually the mother – in order to survive, this is known as monotropy. According to this babies instinctively seek proximity to their mother figures; hence they display social releaser behaviours, e.g. crying when in contact with a stranger, in order to stimulate care from mother. Forming this attachment provides a safe base, giving babies the confidence to explore, therefore Bowlby suggested that this initial attachment relationship acts as a prototype for all future social relationships so disrupting it during the critical period (first 2 1/2 years) can have severe consequences on the childs development.
His findings into attachment radically challenged the prevalent behaviourist theory of Watson of learned infant attachment in response to constant stimuli and the psychoanalytical theory of Freud that attachment was based on biological needs or ‘cupboard love’ theories as unreliable. (Custance, 2010). Within this essay I will attempt to describe both Harlow’s and Ainsworth research methods and compare and contrast their findings and criticisms. Harry Harlow’s work on attachment focused on the bond between infant and mother. Harlow wanted to investigate whether attachment was based on the ‘cupboard love’ theory of Freud and Watson or on Bowlby’s suggestion that attachment was an innate tendency in response to warmth and tactility.
We are all born with an inherited need to form attachments and this is to help us survive. He also said that attachments were irreversible- once they were made they could not be broken. * Babies are biologically programmed to form attachments. By doing cute things lie smiling, they form attachments with adults who look after them when they are most vulnerable, helping the baby survive. This is called social releasers.
Bowlby put forward the principle of monotropy, believing that the infant displays a strong innate tendency to form an attachment with one significant person, not necessarily, but usually the mother. (Gross, R. 2005). This was criticised by Rutter (1981), who claimed that the mother is not special in the way that the infant shows its attachment, as children will show a whole range of attachment behaviours towards a variety of people. Bowlby (1969), cited in Martin et al 2007 p. 546) claimed that the most important attachment behaviours are sucking, cuddling, looking, smiling and crying. According to Freud the newborn infant lives in a solipsistic world of ‘primary narcissism’ and experiences a build-up of tension with the need to suck the breast as an expression of his infantile sexuality.
In addition, I would choose to have an epidural during delivery. Some people view the pain during childbirth, as a part of “the bonding experience”. I view the pain as “unnecessary.” If you are a woman would you want your partner present? I would definitely want my partner present during child birth. A partner’s role during the child birthing process is very important, to ensure the woman feels emotionally supported.
For instance, parents may rewarding only some positive emotion expression. Conversely, they can also punishing their children to interfere the negative emotions expression of children (Gottman et al. As cited in Parke & Gauvain, 2009, p. 181). Generally, parents who respond to their smiling infant with passion will encourage him to smile more. According to Nicole Bush, a child clinical psychologist, she studies the relationship between environment and development.