Critically discuss how Bowlby's theory of attachment has influenced other psychologists

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What is attachment? Attachment is a mutual emotional relationship between an infant and its caregivers. Early socialisation depends on this bond to ensure the infant has such essentials as food, security and stimulation in order to allow the infant to observe and model acceptable behaviours for any future relationships. However, the nature of these attachment bonds was not studied scientifically until the 1950s. Attachment theory, as postulated by John Bowlby, sought to achieve just that. Bowlby's aim was to discover the consequences of difficulties in forming attachments in childhood, and the effects this would have on an infant's later development. Drawing on much work in the psychoanalytic literature, such as that of Freud and Harlow, Bowlby formulated the idea that infants develop a close emotional bond with an attachment figure early in life, and that the success or failure of this earliest of relationships lead the infant to form a mental representation that would have profound effects on their later relationships and their own success as a parent. A concept that Bowlby referred to as an internal working model. (Bowlby, 1969) Fonagy et al. (1993) sought to empirically test the validity of Bowlby's idea of internal working models. The results they produced supported the concept of internal working models, demonstrating that mothers who had mental representations of insecure attachments with their own parents tended to be less securely attached to their own children. In accordance with the internal working model hypothesis, Bowlby believed that secure and long term relationships with a caregiver was essential to the infants later development. Therefore, any disruption to the attachment bond before the child reaches two years of age will have negative consequences for the future. This became known as the maternal

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