Do Individual Differences In Attachment Have Long-

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Do individual differences in attachment have long-term consequences? An individual difference in psychology is a term that refers to the variations between individuals, cultures, age, race and much other dissimilarity between living beings. Attachment refers to a strong, shared, emotional bond between an infant or a person and their caregiver(s). It is characterised by a desire to sustain close proximity. Attachment takes different forms such as secure or insecure. Attachment can cause distress at separation and a great amount of pleasure when reunited. An explanation for attachment proposed by Shaffer said that attachment is “a close emotional relationship between two persons, characterised by mutual affection and a desire to maintain proximity”. Shaffer and Emerson looked at attachment within infants and developed a stage theory. The first stage is the asocial stage where infants are aged between 0-6 weeks and smile and cry. These emotions are not directed to any individual in particular. The second stage is indiscriminate attachment between the ages of 6weeks to 7 months. Attention is sought from different individuals at this stage. The final stage is specific attachment between the ages of 7-11 months where a strong attachment is made to one individual and good attachments to others often follow. They supported this theory of attachment in 1964 in a longitudinal large-scale study. It followed 60 infants in the working class area of Glasgow over a period of 2 years. The study measured attachment in two ways; separation protest in seven everyday situations and stranger anxiety; where the researcher approached the infant and noted when the infant whimpered. The findings showed that half the children showed at first, specific attachment between 25 – 35 weeks. Whoever bathed or fed the infants had the strongest attachment with the child, 39% of the time this was

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