Understanding the four adult relationship attachment styles my book (click on title): "Communication Success with Four Personality Types.". Attachment theory is the joint work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth ( Ainsworth & .. classifying three basic relationship patterns in school-age children who had The following quote explains, in part, why some psychoanalytic colleagues. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Attachment theory explains positive maternal-infant attachment as a dyadic .. the same attachment behavior patterns as a healthy infant, attachment relationships can.
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Attachment Theory | Simply Psychology
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Cross-cultural patterns of attachment: The most important fact in forming attachments is not who feeds and changes the child but who plays and communicates with him or her. Therefore, responsiveness appeared to be the key to attachment. Attachment Theories Psychologists have proposed two main theories that are believed to be important in forming attachments.
The basis for the learning of attachments is the provision of food. An infant will initially form an attachment to whoever feeds it. They learn to associate the feeder usually the mother with the comfort of being fed and through the process of classical conditioningcome to find contact with the mother comforting. They also find that certain behaviors e. The evolutionary theory of attachment e. The determinant of attachment is not food, but care and responsiveness. Bowlby suggested that a child would initially form only one primary attachment monotropy and that the attachment figure acted as a secure base for exploring the world.
The attachment relationship acts as a prototype for all future social relationships so disrupting it can have severe consequences. This theory also suggests that there is a critical period for developing an attachment about 0 -5 years. If an attachment has not developed during this period, then the child will suffer from irreversible developmental consequences, such as reduced intelligence and increased aggression. These infants were highly dependent on their mothers for nutrition, protection, comfort, and socialization.
What, exactly, though, was the basis of the bond? The behavioral theory of attachment would suggest that an infant would form an attachment with a carer that provides food. Harry Harlow did a number of studies on attachment in rhesus monkeys during the 's and 's. His experiments took several forms: They had no contact with each other or anybody else.
He kept some this way for three months, some for six, some for nine and some for the first year of their lives. He then put them back with other monkeys to see what effect their failure to form attachment had on behavior. The monkeys engaged in bizarre behavior such as clutching their own bodies and rocking compulsively. They were then placed back in the company of other monkeys. To start with the babies were scared of the other monkeys, and then became very aggressive towards them. They were also unable to communicate or socialize with other monkeys.
The other monkeys bullied them. They indulged in self-mutilation, tearing hair out, scratching, and biting their own arms and legs. The extent of the abnormal behavior reflected the length of the isolation.
Those kept in isolation for three months were the least affected, but those in isolation for a year never recovered the effects of privation. Four of the monkeys could get milk from the wire mother and four from the cloth mother. The animals were studied for days. Both groups of monkeys spent more time with the cloth mother even if she had no milk.
The infant would only go to the wire mother when hungry. Once fed it would return to the cloth mother for most of the day. If a frightening object was placed in the cage the infant took refuge with the cloth mother its safe base. This surrogate was more effective in decreasing the youngsters fear. The infant would explore more when the cloth mother was present. This supports the evolutionary theory of attachment, in that it is the sensitive response and security of the caregiver that is important as opposed to the provision of food.
The behavioral differences that Harlow observed between the monkeys who had grown up with surrogate mothers and those with normal mothers were; a They were much more timid. These behaviors were observed only in the monkeys who were left with the surrogate mothers for more than 90 days. For those left less than 90 days the effects could be reversed if placed in a normal environment where they could form attachments. Clinging is a natural response - in times of stress the monkey runs to the object to which it normally clings as if the clinging decreases the stress.
He also concluded that early maternal deprivation leads to emotional damage but that its impact could be reversed in monkeys if an attachment was made before the end of the critical period. However, if maternal deprivation lasted after the end of the critical period, then no amount of exposure to mothers or peers could alter the emotional damage that had already occurred.
Harlow found therefore that it was social deprivation rather than maternal deprivation that the young monkeys were suffering from. When he brought some other infant monkeys up on their own, but with 20 minutes a day in a playroom with three other monkeys, he found they grew up to be quite normal emotionally and socially. His experiments have been seen as unnecessarily cruel unethical and of limited value in attempting to understand the effects of deprivation on human infants. It was clear that the monkeys in this study suffered from emotional harm from being reared in isolation.
This was evident when the monkeys were placed with a normal monkey reared by a motherthey sat huddled in a corner in a state of persistent fear and depression. Also, Harlow created a state of anxiety in female monkeys which had implications once they became parents.
Such monkeys became so neurotic that they smashed their infant's face into the floor and rubbed it back and forth. Harlow's experiment is sometimes justified as providing a valuable insight into the development of attachment and social behavior. At the time of the research, there was a dominant belief that attachment was related to physical i.
It could be argued that the benefits of the research outweigh the costs the suffering of the animals. For example, the research influenced the theoretical work of John Bowlbythe most important psychologist in attachment theory. It could also be seen a vital in convincing people about the importance of emotional care in hospitals, children's homes, and day care.