Babies have social releaser which unlocks the innate tendency for adults to care for them; these are both physical and behavioural social releasers. Bowlby adopted the idea of a critical period from ethologists like Lorenz, and applied this to his explanation of how human infants form their attachments. Bowlby has several claims. The first being that we have evolved a biological need to attach to our main caregiver, this being the monotropy attachment. Forming this attachment has survival values, as staying close to the mother ensure food and protection.
Bowlby argued that the attachment behaviours in both caregivers and babies evolved ensuring the survival of the baby until maturity and reproduce. Babies produce instincts like crying and smiling which encourages the caregiver to look after it. Parents especial mothers as per to Bowlby have instincts to protect their baby from harm and nurture them ensuring their survival until maturity. Those babies and mother who don’t possess these behaviours have been less successful. A second most important concept in Bowlby’s theory was the idea of monotrophy a single attachment to one person who is most important to the baby.
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.
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.
Whilst early theories pertaining to maternal interaction and deprivation can be found in the works of Sigmund Freud, Rene Spitz and Harry Harlow, Attachment Psychologist John Bowlby is largely regarded as the pioneer in the field (Peterson, 2004). Bowlby believed attachment to be an innate adaptive method applied by the child in an attempt to meet primary survival needs (i.e. food, shelter, mental stimulation). In order to secure these primary needs, newborn infants will attempt to form secure attachments to primary caregivers. If secured the child will receive ample attention and have basic needs met.
Bowlby begun to explore this. Bowlby (as cited in Oates, 2005) was inspired by this previous ethological work and was interested in linking such findings with human development (Oates, 2005). Bowlby’s focus was children’s attachment during the critical period and the effect it has on later development. Bowlby was influenced by work of Winnicot. Winnicot’s (1953) work on mothers and infants demonstrated the important for mothers to be emotionally ready to be a ‘good enough mother’ by having tolerance of waiting out a child’s frustration and the confidence in providing satisfaction (Oates, 2005).
Infants in biologically organize their attachment behaviors around the availability of their caregivers. When infants find caregivers to be available in times of need, they tend to develop expectations that caregivers will be there in the future of times needed in the future. Behaviorally, these infants then seek out the comfort they need (Sroufe, 1989) from caregivers with confident expectations that they will be soothed. Such infants are categorized as having secure attachments to caregivers. When caregivers are not responsive to infants’ needs or there are many different caregivers in an infants’ life, infants can develop an insecurity to bond because they cannot identify who the main caregiver is supposed
Birth is also another vital period as late or early conception can also lead to impairments, as well as walking and talking which should be learned by the age of 4. He also believed that attachment is adaptive as it gives the child the confidence needed in order to explore the world independently when they grow older. Bowlby also suggested that infants emit social releasers. Babies behave in ways that adults find ‘cute’ and that release emotions, particularly in females. Cooing, gurgling, smiling and laughing create happy emotions in adults.
Reggio Emilia focuses more on the role family centered care play in impacting children’s development. John Dewey supports the idea of making children lifelong learners by increasing their awareness of the world and providing them with the necessary skills to function and operate productively and responsibly in society. All three theorist espouse the fundamental certainty that children if given the proper care and social interactions, can develop into critical conscious beings aware of themselves and the world in which they live. Teacher-child and peer interaction are two integral aspects of children critical development. Vygotsky supports this notion and argues that family centered care increases children’s awareness through dialogue, child initiated play, and other engaging challenging explorations such as small groups interactions and the overall interactions with others.