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Presentation Content Attachment Theory Overview Major Theorists – Brief Biography – Contribution to Attachment Theory.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation Content Attachment Theory Overview Major Theorists – Brief Biography – Contribution to Attachment Theory."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Presentation Content Attachment Theory Overview Major Theorists – Brief Biography – Contribution to Attachment Theory

3 Attachment Theory Overview Freud’s Influence: “So long as we trace the development from its final outcome backwards, the chain of events appears continuous, and we feel we have gained an insight which is completely satisfactory or even exhaustive. But if we proceed in the reverse way, if we start from the premises inferred from the analysis and try to follow these up to the final results, then we no longer get the impression of an inevitable sequence of events which could not have otherwise been determined.”

4 Attachment Theory Overview Attachment Definitions: Kail and Cavanaugh (2010): Infant behavior that elicits cargiving from adults (pg.175). Bolwby (1973): Any form of behavior that results in a person attaining or retaining proximity to some other differentiated or preferred individual, usually conceived as stronger and/or wiser. (pg.292) Ainsworth (1969): "Attachment" refers to an affectional tie that one person (or animal) forms to another specific individual. Attachment is thus discriminating and specific. – What do we mean by attachment? I lean to a definition which equates love and attachment.

5 Attachment Theory Overview Attachment Definitions cont. Mahler,Pine, Bergman (1975): Separation and Individuation is the process by which an infant moves from symbiosis with the mother to awareness of separateness from the mother and formation of a relationship with her as a differentiated other. Siegel (1999): An in born system in the brain that evolves in ways that influences and organize motivational, emotional, and memory processes with respect to significant caregiving figures (pg.67).

6 Major Attachment Theorists – John Bowlby – Mary Ainsworth – Mary Main – Margaret Mahler

7 Major Theorists: Bowlby John Bowlby – British Child Psychiatrist – Childhood Attachment Mother is said to have only attended to him for one hour per day to prevent him from being spoiled. Nanny attended to him more consistently, but she moved on when he was age four. – He later described this as a “tragic loss of a mother” He was placed in boarding school at age seven – Performed volunteer work with maladjusted children in his early career

8 Major Theorists: Bowlby Three Propositions of Attachment Theory 1.When an individual is confident that an attachment figure will be available whenever desired, they will be much less prone to intense or chronic fear than one that does not have this confidence. 2.Confidence in caregiver availability (or lack of) is built up slowly during the years of infancy, childhood, and adolescence. The expectations developed in these years tend to persist throughout life. 3.The expectations of availability and responsiveness of attachment figures that individuals develop during the years of immaturity are fairly accurate representations of the experiences those individuals have had.

9 Major Theorists: Bowlby All children “attach” – Securely – Insecurely Attachment relationships constitute the basis upon which offspring are most likely to survive, reproduce and flourish. Attachment system functions to curtail anxiety and duress caused by separation that evolved through the child’s desire for proximity with their primary caretaker during times of danger or threat. “Secure Base”

10 Proximity Maintenanc e Major Theorist: Ainsworth Attachment Model: Attachment Safe Haven Secure Base Separation Distress

11 Major Theorist: Ainsworth Mary D Salter Ainsworth: – Developmental Psychologist – Student of John Bowlby – Conducted research focused on supporting Bowlby’s attachment theory. Observed mother child interactions in Maryland and Uganda. Published works include the “Strange Situation” experiment, which yielded formulation of the three attachment styles.

12 Major Theorist: Ainsworth Styles of Attachment: – Secure – Anxious Avoidant – Anxious Ambivalent

13 Major Theorist: Ainsworth Secure Attachment Style – 70% of observed children had this style – Used mom as a base from which to explore – Turn around to see of mom is still there – Separation from mom results in protest & crying – Upon reunion mom is greeted with open arms – Upon prolonged separation, will eventually calm down and play – Moms were observed as being more responsive to their children, more attentive and attuned.

14 Major Theorist: Ainsworth Anxious Avoidant Style – 20-25% of observed children had this style – Child presents as being independent Psuedo-independent Doesn’t care much if mom is present or not Connection with mom is inconsistent – Mom’s not as skilled at responding to child’s cues, afraid of intimacy with child. – Child characterized by “I don’t need you but don’t go away”

15 Major Theorist: Ainsworth Anxious Ambivalent Style – 10% of children had this style – Children were clingy, afraid to explore – Separation anxiety, agitated when mom left – Child would allow moms to pick them up upon return, but would arch away too. “I need you, but it hurts when you leave, and I don’t like you because of that” – Moms tend to be much like moms in the avoidant style, but with more indulgence. Seems as though moms attempt to soothe dependency needs through their child. Thus both get stuck in a snare of “never growing up”

16 Major Theorsit: Main Mary Main ( ) – Researcher – Helped to develop the Adult Attachment Inventory (AAI) – Identified the fourth attachment style form Ainsworth’s work as Chaotic / Disorganized. – Translated Ainsworth’s child attachment style to adult attachment styles

17 Major Theorist: Main Adult Attachment Styles – Autonomous – Dismissive – Preoccupied – Disorganized

18 Major Theorist: Main Autonomous Attachment Style (Secure) – Easily childhood recall experience with parents – Self reliant – Recall painful childhood events without being overwhelmed – Objective – Incorporates past into the present

19 Major Theorist: Main Dismissive Attachment Style (Avoidant) – Indifferent to early attachments – Talks about the present only – Idealized view of parents – Remembers little from childhood Recollections conflict with others account – Tend to have an absent parenting style, aloof – Tend to be viewed as detached and cold

20 Major Theorist: Main Preoccupied Attachment Style (Ambivalent) – Almost completely focused on their past and childhood – Flooded with all the bad memories – Predominant emotions tend to include anger, despair, worthlessness – Present and persistent desire for their past to change to include favorable childhood attachment

21 Major Theorist: Main Disorganized Attachment Style (Chaotic) – Loss of parent(s) – Early abuse and neglect – Chaotic early life – Traumatized – Not able to make sense of childhood or how their caregivers failed to tend to them. – Lost Souls

22 Major Theorist: Mahler Margaret Mahler – Psychiatrist specialized in childhood development – Interested in developing a theory of childhood psychopathology – Developed a tripatriate model of treatment Involved mothers in the treatment process – Operated from the lens of Object Relations theory of psychoanalysis


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