Outline and Evaluate Bowlby’s Theory Attachment (12)

596 Words3 Pages
Bowlby proposed the idea that millions of years of evolution had produced a behaviour that is essential to the survival chances of human infants. Humans are born helpless and totally dependent on the actions of a caregiver for food, warmth, shelter and safety for their wellbeing and survival. If babies did not behave in a way that made it more likely an adult would care for them, and if adults did not become attached to babies, then human infants would not survive to reproductive age. Therefore natural selection has passed on genes that lead to attachment forming behaviours. The innate nature of attachment was illustrated and supported by Lorenz in his studies of geese. Lorenz hatched two groups of geese eggs - one group stayed with their natural mother and the other group were hatched in an incubator. The first moving thing the incubator group saw when they hatched was Lorenz himself, and the geese immediately started to follow him around. When the incubator geese and natural mother geese were mixed together, they would quickly separate into the two original groups and follow either Lorenz or their natural mother. Imprinting of this nature in animals has a clear survival advantage as it keeps them close to their mother who would naturally protect them from predators and increase their chances of survival. Bowlby argued that there is a critical period between the ages of birth and 2.5 years (0-30 months) in which conditions must be right for an attachment to form, and if it does not form in this time then it is not possible to develop thereafter. This idea can be supported by Rutter et al, in which he concluded that Romanian orphans for attachments to adopted parents in their first year of life. Rutter also concluded that older children form attachments more slowly, but are still able to form them. Therefore there is a sensitive period for attachment rather
Open Document