Attachment Theory 5

Topics: Attachment theory, Attachment in adults, John Bowlby Pages: 16 (5894 words) Published: December 3, 2010
“Attachment disorders: Assessment strategies and treatment approaches”, by Thomas G. O’Connor and Charles H. Zeanah, is an article that relates to this case study, in which I have attached.

Attachment Theory:
“An Attachment is a reciprocal, enduring, emotional and physical affiliation between a child and a caregiver”[1]. The most recognised attachment theorist was a man called John Bowlby, a British Psychologist, Psychoanalyst and Psychiatrist famous for his work and fascination in child development and for his revolutionary and ground-breaking work in attachment theory. Attachment Theory has grown to be the main influential theory applied today in the study of child behaviour, mental health in toddlers, children’s treatments, and associated domains. It is described as an emotional bond and affectionate tie to another person. Bowlby believed that the bonds formed between the caregivers and a child has a huge impact throughout the child’s life. According to Bowlby, through an optimistic shared reciprocal relationship, infants discover to manage their emotions, calm themselves and are able to connect with other people. They can form an opinion on themselves, other people and the world around them through the events they experience through attachments. Also, children show an instinctive tendency to get an attached to certain person, which he called Monotropy, although he accepts they may have a variety of hierarchy attachments. He developed the attachment theory through research with institutionalized children who were there due to the effects of world was 2, ethnology and animal research, psychoanalysis psychology, evolutionary psychology, and neurology and brain research. He felt there was a critical time period for this attachment to form. He believed that if a child was deprived of this attachment between the ages of six months five years that the child would have problems in his life later on. He called this theory Maternal Deprivation. He also believed that a separation from these attachments meant that the child would grow up to have “affectionless psychopathy”, which would result in the person having no sense of conscious, guilt or shame e.g. robbers Bowlby’s attachment theory stresses four main concepts which are, first that infants between the ages of six months to two and a half years were likely to create an emotional attachment bond to known caregivers, and more so if the caregiver was readily available, receptive and reactive to the child. His second important stressor is that the emotional attachments of the infants are seen through their behaviour by their inclinations to go to their recognised caregivers. Third, in later life it is seen that how the child behaves towards the caregivers has continued on to affect their social behaviours and also their attachment formation with the caregiver plays a role to the foundation of their personality and emotional development later on. And finally, situations that intervene with the child’s attachment development can have both short-term and long-term negative effects on the infants life – cognitively and emotionally, for example, the unresponsive and unavailability of the caregiver to the child or the separation of the child form the caregiver. “Intimate attachments to other human beings are the hub around which a person’s life resolves, not only when he is an infant or a toddler or a schoolchild bit throughout his adolescence and his years of maturity as well, and well on to old age. From these intimate attachments a person draws his strength and enjoyment of life and through what he contributes he gives strength and enjoyment to others” (Bowlby, 1980) [2]. There are four main characteristics of attachment that care identified: [pic]

• Safe Haven – the caregiver is the person that the child can return to when feeling endangered or upset and expect comfort. • Proximity Maintenance - the child ensures he keeps close to the caregiver in a way of...
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