Forming this attachment provides a safe base, giving babies the confidence to explore, therefore Bowlby suggested that this initial attachment relationship acts as a prototype for all future social relationships so disrupting it during the critical period (first 2 1/2 years) can have severe consequences on the childs development. There are a number of case studies that support Bowlbys theory. Sroufe (1999) conducted an experiment in which he followed a group of children from the age of 12 months to adolescence. They were observed throughout their childhood by teachers, trained observers and camp counsellors at special events arranged for the children. At the end of the experiment, Sroufes results showed that those children who were rated as being securely attached in infancy were also rated as being more popular, having more initiative and being higher in social competence as well as self-confidence.
they all make adults respond and bond with them. Bowlby also believed that there is a critical period between birth and 2 ½ years. He said if attachment doesn't occur within this age it is impossible for it to occur after. Bowlby said that the first attachment to the mother was very important because it gave the infant a blueprint on how future relationships should be. The child is given information about themselves A study supporting bowlby’s theory is McCarthy.
Learning Theory links attachment to pleasure. This is also known as a behaviourist theory, and focuses on the baby wanting its needs to be fulfilled. Conditioning is given as an explanation of how attachments form. There are two conditionings and they are classical conditioning which is learning by associations in the environment. Getting food naturally gives the baby pleasure.
Another important evolutionary concept in Bowlby’s theory was the idea of monotropy where infants form an attachment to one primary caregiver which is usually the biological mother. Bowlby thought that this process of attachment took place during a critical period, which was the first three years of the child’s life and that if an attachment wasn’t formed during this time, there would be no later attachment at all. Bowlby also considered some more emotional concepts in his theory as well, one being that as a result of the relationship between the baby and the caregiver, an internal working model would be developed by the child & this includes whether they view themselves as loveable or not etc. which would them provide an important template for later relationships which is referred to as the continuity
Outline and evaluate the explanation of the Learning Theory The learning theory is model that suggests that attachment is learnt as a result of classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Food (Unconditioned stimulus) naturally produces a sense of pleasure (Unconditioned response) in the infant. As the mother continually provides the baby with food, she becomes the feeder and as the association between the two occurs. Classical conditioning occurs when food (conditioned stimulus) becomes associated with the mother which causes pleasure now becomes a conditioned response. The association between the mother and a sense of pleasure is the attachment bond.
Bowlby put forward a theory of attachment based upon the assumption that attachments are formed due to their evolutionary advantages. The theory states that attachments are adaptive and become attached because of the long term benefits such as feeding and protection from a caregiver. It also states that infants have social releasers which are physical and behavioural characteristics that elicit an innate tendency to look after, such as smiling or crying. The attachment is a monotropic attachment to the mother which occurs within the critical period, which is from birth to two and a half years of age. This attachment helps the infant to form an internal working model which is a schema for all future relationships.
The first attachment acts as a template for future relationships including a model of how you and other people are likely to behave. * Bowlby also said that babies usually treat mothers of their main attachment figure as their secure base. This means that they associate them with food and security. This keeps the baby close to the main attachment figure. * Hazan and Shaver (1987) did a ‘Love Quiz’.
He also states that infants will form one bond that is more important than all others (Montrophy) and this is linked to the continuity hypothesis. Because attachment is innate Bowlby believed that there is a ‘sensitive period’ for forming attachments and he believes that the first attachment must be achieved by 7 months of age or it will become ever more difficult to form an attachment. He also believed that infants have built in mechanisms for encouraging care-giving behaviour from parents (social releasers). The ‘cute baby face’, facial expressions (such as smiling) and crying encourage contact. There are many studies and experiments that are in support of Bowlby’s theory of attachment, one is the study conducted by Hazan and Shaver (1987) in which they gave adult participants 2 questionnaires.
Being attached to someone means that you have formed an emotional relationship to that person. This is important thorough out our lives but particularly important during the vulnerable period of infancy when babies rely on caregivers to meet their needs (Cardwell, Clark & Meldrum, 2003). Forming an attachment to a primary caregiver is an innate behaviour and insures survival of the infant. This essay will describe and evaluate Ainsworth’s (1970) Strange Situation procedure and will discuss the types of attachments infant form. The psychologist John Bowlby (1969) suggested that infant attachments influence their emotional development through an internal working model which acts as a template for future relationships.
Bowlby’s primary thesis is that the success of all relationships or attachments in life is dependent of the success of the first one, namely, of the bond between the infant or small child and his mother or primary caregiver. Attachment behaviors begin early in life. This narrow age limit is often called the critical period. It has become more and more apparent that a healthy attachment is most important in human development. If a child has a secure attachment, he will grow up to view the world as a safe place and will be able to develop other emotions.