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Introduction: Attachment theory can be useful to highlight core and basic human needs for social interaction and proximity to others. Used as a model of human development, it can help us consider how relationships between infants and their caregivers forge and underpin the development of fundamental areas of our lives; our self beliefs and constructs of the world around us; of ourselves and expectations of others; our abilities to self regulate our emotions and feelings; our sense of curiosity, motivation and confidence to explore and learn and how we are able to relate to others and tasks/activities. In this paper I will firstly be discussing the major theorises of attachment these being John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Secondly I will explain how attachment informs in social work. ‘Among the most significant developments of psychiatry during the past quarter of a century has been the steady growth of evidence that the quality of parental care which a child receives in his earliest years is of vital importance to his future mental health’ (Bowlby.J.p11.1953) Attachment is an emotional relationship that involves comfort care and contentment. The roots of attachment were thought to be from Freuds theory’s about love, however John Bowlby is accredited with being the fore father of attachment theory. Bowlby shared the psychoanalytic view that early experiences in childhood have a major influence on development and behaviour later in life. Our early attachment styles are established in childhood through the infant/caregiver relationship. Kennhell and Klaus said that sometime attachment is confused with the natural bonding process that takes place between mother and child, and we should be careful not to mix these too up. Bowlby believed that attachment begins in infancy and carries on throughout life, resulting in several behavioural systems that are required for survival and reproduction. Bowlby suggested that there are four central...
References: Bowlby, J. (1953) Childcare and the growth of maternal love. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
Feeney,J. Noller,P. (1996) Adult Attachment. London: sage publications.
Goldberg, S. (2000) Attachment and Development. London: Arnold publishers.
Howe,D.(1995) Attachment theory for social work practice.London: Macmillan press.
Smith, Cowie, Blades.online. ‘The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). Understanding Children 's Development’. York College: Homepage, (http://www.ycc.ac.uk/yc/new/HUMSOC/psycho/unit1/adultatt.htm), (5 December 2008)
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