Outline and Evaluate Bowlby's Theory.

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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. Bowlby also explains that the first attachment a baby will form is the most important and will be for the rest of their lives; this is what he called monotropy. Monotropy is vital for a baby as their first attachment with their caregiver if secure will provide a good template for future relationships when forming attachments. Bowlby explains that if the baby does not form a good first relationship then their internal working model for future relationships will not be as good and they may have more difficulty in forming attachments. In addition, Bowlby believes that if a child fails to form an attachment in the first three years of their life then they will struggle forming secure and strong attachments in later life because of the idea of a continuity hypothesis which states that there is a link between early attachments and relationships in later life. A study that undermines Bowlby’s theory is Zimmerman’s longitudinal theory. Zimmerman assessed a study of children in Germany by talking to people who know them, seeing how they react in different environments. He discovered that life events e.g. divorce had more of an impact on attachment types than their first specific attachment. This undermines Bowlby’s theory therefore because Zimmerman explains that even if a child does not necessarily have a good first attachment, this does not mean they will struggle forming secure attachments in life. Zimmerman also said that events would have more an impact on

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