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Attachment. * Bowlby was influenced by Freud and Lorenz ( imprinting) * He believed that attachment is innate and adaptive * We are all born with a need.

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Presentation on theme: "Attachment. * Bowlby was influenced by Freud and Lorenz ( imprinting) * He believed that attachment is innate and adaptive * We are all born with a need."— Presentation transcript:

1 Attachment

2 * Bowlby was influenced by Freud and Lorenz ( imprinting) * He believed that attachment is innate and adaptive * We are all born with a need to form attachments

3 * In line with Darwins theory on natural selection * any behaviour that helps you survive to maturity and reproduce yourself will be maintained in the gene pool. In human terms, the newborn infant is helpless and relies on its mother for food, warmth etc. Similarly the mother inherits a genetic blueprint that predisposes her to loving behaviour towards the infant.

4 * Bowlby believes that attachment promotes survival in 3 ways: * Safety: the attachment keeps mother and child close to each other. Separation results in feelings of anxiety. * Safe base for exploration: the child is happy to wander and explore (necessary for its cognitive development) knowing it has a safe place to return to if things turn nasty. This also develops independence necessary in later life. * Internal working model: This was based on Freud’s idea of the mother-child relationship acting as a prototype fro all future attachments. Bowlby believed that this first relationship forms a template or schema that gives the child a feel for what a relationship is.

5 * Sensitive period: Bowlby believed that there was a period in development where a child is more likely to develop an attachment (4-6 th month) * Irreversible: The attachment can’t be broken once made * Social Releasers: the child has built in mechanisms for encouraging care-giving behaviour from parents. Children have ‘baby faces’ and their noises and facial expressions such as smiles encourage contact.

6 * Babies’ smiles are powerful things leaving * mothers spellbound and enslaved. Who * can doubt that the baby who most readily * rewards his mother with a smile is the one * who is best loved and best cared for?’ * Bowlby 1957.

7 * The internal working model ensures that early attachments are reflected in later relationship types. For example, a secure attachment as a child leads to greater emotional and social stability as an adult, whereas an insecure attachment is likely to lead to difficulties with later relationships.

8 * There has been a debate about whether or not children create one or more attachments * Bowlby didn’t actually believe that only 1 attachment was formed * What he did believe was that there was only one primary attachment which didn’t necessarily mean the mother

9 * Other theorists claimed that a child will benefit from having more than one attachment * An example would a child's attachment with his/her Father * In Caribbean and European culture, infants seem to form many equally important attachments to different people.

10 * Bowlby (1969) claimed that there was a hierarchy of attachments, with a primary caregiver, usually the mother at the top. The Efe, an African tribe, share the care of their children so that women in the village breast feed each another’s children. However, the infants still go on to form their primary attachment with their biological mother.

11 * Bowlby appears to focus to much on the Mother and not enough on the Father * Additonally Bowlby seemed to overlook the relationships the child develops with its brothers and sisters. Schaffer (1996) describes these as horizontal relationships as opposed to the vertical relationships with parents, teachers and other adults

12 * Breaking of bonds in early life leads to intellectual, social and emotional problems in later life. Note, by ‘maternal’ it is usually assumed that Bowlby meant mother figure. Bowlby originally believed the effects to be permanent and irreversible

13 * Later studies have shown that many of the effects of early deprivation can be overcome. They are not so permanent and irreversible as Bowlby seemed to assume * Children reared in institutions were not only separated from parents they were also kept in relatively poor conditions. This is likely to have added to the effects

14 * Deprivation: where an attachment can be broken temporarily (through hospitalisation) or through death * Privation: Where a child has been treated so badly that they have never been able to form an attachment

15 * Bowlby did not distinguish between the two * Recent studies however suggest: * 1. Deprivation and privation are distinct, believing that the long term consequences of privation are far more severe than the long term consequences of deprivation. * 2. Children are generally far more resilient to early separation than Bowlby originally proposed. Bowlby himself later changed his views adopting this line.

16 * Thank You


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