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Attachment Theory

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Attachment Theory
Attachment Theory (AT) is essential when determining the relationship between a caregiver and an infant and frequently drawn upon when assessing the “quality” of a relationship (Norton, 2003). Attachment to a caregiver is multifaceted and various factors play a role in the assessment of a relationship, therefore as a social workers it is critical we understand these factors and also recognize that all theories have their limitations.
AT was a term developed by John Bowlby (1988) and was developed following the high mortality rates in orphanages, despite the primary needs of the infant being meet (McLeod, 2008) AT is a behavioral system that establishes a connection between the infant and caregiver. This connection is considered essential because infants are vulnerable and need a reliable caregiver (Benoit, 2004). The caregiver also plays the role of an emotional mediator and regulates the infant’s emotions. The attachments in the beginning stages of life are essential for normal development and are a model for future relationships (Norton, 2003). AT provided answers the high mortality in orphanages as well as providing caregivers and professionals insight into the parent-child bond (Dewar, 2014)

The Strange Situation Procedure (SSP), designed by Mary Ainsworth (as citied by Mcleod, 2008) is commonly used to determine the infants’ attachment and the type of attachment the child has to his/her caregiver (Benoit, 2004). In this scenario described above, it is appears that the social worker uses part of the SSP to draw upon a conclusion, jeopardizing the variability of the procedure.
The SSP is the observation of the child’s exploration of the room once a caregiver leaves the room, leaving the child alone or with a stranger (McLeod, 2008). The results are dependent on how long it takes for the child to be soothed and how willing the child is to explore the room on their own (McLeod, 2008). In the scenario presented, the social worker is quick to categories

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