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Bowlby proposed that over the years a behaviour had been produced that is essential to the survival chances of infants. Humans are born helpless and totally dependent on the actions of a caregiver for food, warmth, shelter and safety for their well being and survival. If babies did not behave in a way that made an adult care for them, and if adults did not become attached to babies, then human infants would not survive to reproductive age.

The types of attachment an infant experiences form a template for that infant’s future attachments. This is called an internal working model and plays a role in guiding future relationships. A secure child will develop a positive internal working model of itself because it has received sensitive emotional care from its primary attachment figure. An insecure-avoidant child will develop an internal working model in which it sees itself as unworthy because its primary attachment figure has reacted negatively to it during the sensitive period for attachment formation. Most development takes place during a critical/sensitive period. This is a time frame in which development of a behaviour occurs. If the behaviour does not happen during the critical period then it may well not develop at all. Bowlby argued that there is a critical period between the ages of birth and 2.5 years in which conditions must be right for an attachment to form, and if it does not form in this time then it is not possible to develop thereafter. Bowlby argues that the relationship with the mother is somehow different altogether from other relationships this is called innate attachment. Bowlby argues that infants form a single special attachment with one primary attachment figure, usually the mother. This is called monotropy. Social releasers are when babies behave in ways that adults find ‘cute’ and that release emotions. Cooing, gurgling, smiling and laughing create happy emotions in adults. Crying, distressed facial expressions, and frustration create...
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