Attachment Theory

Topics: Attachment theory, Mary Ainsworth, John Bowlby Pages: 4 (1156 words) Published: May 19, 2013
Chris Livoti 3/5/13
IB Psychology Mrs. Urso
John Bowlby is the pioneer of the attachment theory and worked with children who had been separated from their parents during World War 2. He observed that many of these children developed emotional problems, and he made the connection that the emotional problems stemmed from the separation from the mother. Bowlby was born in London to an upper class family, and would rarely see, and interact with his mother. At the young age of seven he was sent off to boarding school, which was very common for boys of his social status. He would later go on to say "I wouldn't send a dog away to boarding school at age seven." These circumstances would lead him to become interested in psychology and attachment. Someone else who also contributed to the attachment theory is Mary Ainsworth. Mary Ainsworth was an U.S. psychologist and peer of Bowlby and tested Bowlby's attachment theory empirically. Ainsworth is well known for study of early emotional attachment with "The Strange Situation."

John Bowlby's in his early years founded an influential theory about child attachment, which is known today as the maternal deprivation theory. To come up with this theory he studied the effects of separating young children from their mother. In this theory he suggested that children have a critical period from birth through age two, in which the primary caregiver must give the child full and continuous care through this time. He also said that if this care is not given between that time, the child will suffer severe irreversible damage which can include, affectionless psychopathy, mental retardation, delinquency, and depression. Bowly also had three different levels of maternal deprivation. One was complete deprivation, which meant the child was not attached to anyone, and this meant the child could lose the ability to form any relationships with anybody. Another was partial deprivation, and...
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