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1 Psychology 1230: Psychology of Adolescence Don Hartmann Fall 2005 Lecture 16: Attachment.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Psychology 1230: Psychology of Adolescence Don Hartmann Fall 2005 Lecture 16: Attachment."— Presentation transcript:


2 1 Psychology 1230: Psychology of Adolescence Don Hartmann Fall 2005 Lecture 16: Attachment

3 2 Supplementary References 552/default.htm (Everett Waters--an expert in the field--class on attachment theory) Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. New York: Basic Books. Shaffer, D. R. (2000). Social & personality development (4 th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth (pp. 147-151).

4 3 Imprinting in the Big City

5 4 Overview of Attachment Lecture Background: The construct How conceived? Bowlby’s contributions How measured? E.g., Ainworth's Strange Situation Test Factors affecting the quality of attachment for parents & babies Implications of Attachment in adolescence and in later life Intersects with text, pp. 311-313 & 327-328 Next: Lect. #17: Autonomy

6 5 Background Attachment to primary socializer widely conceived as important to infant's development “ affective relationships, adjustment with peers, and a variety of other attributes of the older child and adult can be traced back to the behavior of the infant with its mother...” (MacDonald, p. 117.).

7 6 A typical attachment relationship in the Dept. of Psychology!

8 7 Conception How conceived? As a behavioral system ‑‑ with a set of interchangeable, functionally equivalent behaviors Infant displays responses that bring it closer to caregiver  Greater proximity seeking to caregiver than others.  Stable proximity seeking across time.

9 8 The Theory Many behaviors of the mother are intrinsically rewarding to the infant; likewise for the baby. Similarly, absence from the mother is intrinsically fear ‑ producing. Attachment theory is really a theory about relationships!

10 9 Measuring Attachment: 1 Ainsworth’s Strange Situation Test For many years, the method of assessing attachment relationships. Lab-based method based on a standard method of caregiver interacting with infant. Infant, attachment figure (e.g., mom), and stranger involved in a series of interactions—infant with mom and stranger, infant alone with stranger, etc. Coded by trained (certified) observers. Code categories include infant proximity and contact seeking; distance interactions; use of mother as secure base; distress upon separation; search behavior during separation; quality of child's greeting upon mom's return; avoidance or resistance to interaction with mom; willingness to be comforted

11 10 Measuring Attachment: 2  Attachment Q ‑ sort: Appropriate for somewhat older children. Mom or someone else familiar with the child sorts a large set of behavioral descriptor related to attachment to determine how typical they are of the child.  The Adult Attachment Interview (adult recollections). Adults are questioned (interviewed) about their early childhood relationships.

12 11 Attachment Categories: (1) A (anxious ‑ avoidant): 20% of NA infants. Infants tend to avoid or ignore their caregiver, who are themselves rejecting/unresponsive. An insecure attachment. B (secure): 65% of NA infants. Explores while with mom. Is glad to see her when she returns. If distressed, seeks contact with mom. C (anxious ‑ resistant): 10% in NA. Infants are ambivalent about mom, who is inconsistent. An insecure attachment. D (disorganized): 5-10% of NA infants. The most insecure because caregiver is neglectful/abusive. Infants display intense approach/avoidance.

13 12 How do attachment relationships form? Care giving hypothesis: Secure attachments produced by caregivers who are sensitive, positive, supportive, stimulating, synchronous, and mutual.  Insecure attachments result from caretakers who are depressed, themselves mistreated as children, or who have unwanted pregnancies and reject their babies

14 13 Attachment Security during Adolescence (1) The conceptual issue: Behavioral systems that endure across time and developmental periods are oftentimes difficult to operationalize in their separate developmental periods. What behaviors in youth correspond to using parent as a secure base during infancy?

15 14 Attachment Security during Adolescence (2) What can parents do? Accommodate the child’s growing need for autonomy while maintaining appropriate limits Remaining available when needed Open communication of emotion Negotiate differences What would the “bad” parent do?

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17 16 Why Should We Care About Attachment Relationships? Early relationships help develop a template for later relationships! E.g., securely attached infants (Bs) are better playmates (had better peer relations) at 3 years E.g., young teens who are Bs had better social skills and were more likely to have close friends (Minn. Mother-Child Project) E.g., Adults tend to form the kind of relationship with their romantic partners as they did in their early relationships with primary caregivers.

18 17 Why might early attachment relationship forecast latter relationships? Internal working models (Bretherton) based upon early experiences. These are internal representations of other (e.g., mom) and themselves Mom ‑ infant interaction is prototype of future interactions (Alan Shroufe).

19 18 Four Perspectives on Attachment- based Relationships Model of Self PositiveNegative Model of Others Negative Positive Secure (Secure Primary Attach.) Preoccupied (Ambivalent Primary Attach.) Dismissing (Avoidant Primary Attach.) Fearful (Disorganized Primary Attach.)

20 19 Getting Help with Defective Attachment Relationships Fonagy (2001) states that “the past influences or biases expectations but does not determine these.” Where do you get help? Bibliotherapy (Pop psychology): Becoming attached: First relationships and how they shape our capacity to love by Robert Karen Involvement in a relationship with a securely attached individual. May not be sufficient. Relationship therapy.

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22 21 Concerns with Attachment Theory Hinde: “…in the very power of such a model lies a trap; it can too easily explain anything (1988, p. 378). Not yet enough longitudinal studies to evaluate long-term predictability. Interpretation of results still too much under the controls of commentator’s ideology.

23 22 Summary of Attachment Lecture Background: The construct How conceived? How measured? Factors affecting the quality of attachment for parents & babies Implications of Attachment in adolescence and in later life Next time: Autonomy, Lect. #17 Go in Peace

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