Attachment theory is the joint work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth &
Bowlby, 1991 ). Drawing on concepts from ethology, cybernetics, information processing, developmental psychology, and psychoanalysts, John Bowlby formulated the basic tenets of the theory. He thereby revolutionized our thinking about a child’s tie to the mother and its disruption through separation, deprivation, and bereavement. Mary Ainsworth’s innovative methodology not only made it possible to test some of Bowlby’s ideas empirically hut also helped expand the theory itself and is responsible for some of the new directions it is now taking. Ainsworth contributed the concept of the attachment figure as a secure base from which an infant can explore the world. In addition, she formulated the concept of maternal sensitivity to infant signals and its role in the development of infant-mother attachment patterns. The ideas now guiding attachment theory have a long developmental history. Although
Bowlby and Ainsworth worked independently of each other during their early careers, both were influenced by Freud and other psychoanalytic thinkers-directly in Bowlby’s case, indirectly in Ainsworth’s. John Bowlby used the term "attachment" to describe the affective bond that develops between an infant and a primary caregiver.
Originating with the work of John Bowlby 1982[pic], attachment theory describes a socioemotional behavioral system that guides how individuals manage their need for emotional security. This system is first evident early in life as children interact with their primary caregiver. When they are physically or psychologically threatened, children turn to their caregiver for comfort, and ideally their caregiver responds with immediate, positive, and consistent support. In reality, of course, caregivers do not always respond in ways that children expect. On the basis of their accumulated experiences with caregivers, children