Bowlby's Attachment Theories

Topics: Attachment theory, Psychology, Developmental psychology Pages: 3 (1080 words) Published: May 14, 2012

John Bowlby, the father of the Attachment Theory, has left an indelible mark in the field of Developmental Psychiatry, drawing most of his inferences from studies of infant interactions with others. Dissatisfied with traditional theories of infant-parent interactions, he turned to evolutionary biology, ethology, developmental psychology, cognitive science and control systems theory for inspiration (Cassidy, 1999). Bowlby asserts that children have this sort of attachment to their parents and a mother-child relationship is crucial; if not present or suffers major disruptions, it will lead to psychopathologies and impaired future relationships with others (Bowlby, 1988). He formulated the proposition that the infant’s ties to the mother emerged as a result of evolutionary pressures; very critical in the survival of the baby. Attachment behaviors are the predictable outcome of increasing proximity of the child to the attachment figure which is usually the mother (Cassidy, 1999).And in that assertion, he deemed the biological function of attachment behavior as one that was necessary for the survival of the child which explains why infants were drawn to their parents and thus their love for them. Myron Hofer equipped with newer technological advances has made some remarkable findings that shed intricate details on the underlying factors that contribute towards the relationships between infants and their parents. He found a network of behavioral, physiological, and neural processes that underlie the psychological constructs of attachment theory (Hofer, 2006, p. 84). Debunking the myth of attachment behavior as merely an affective response of the child to the mother’s departure is now unanimous. Attachment to a caregiver goes far more in depth than just a mere association with feeding as was initially thought in the 1960’s. An interesting finding by Hofer (2006, p....

References: Bowlby, J. (1988). Developmental Psychiatry comes of Age. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 145, 1-10.
Cassidy, J. (1999). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. The Nature of the child’s ties, 3-20: New York, US: Guilford Press.
Hofer, M. A. (2006). The Psychobiological Roots of Early Attachment. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15, 84-88.
Tronick, E. Z. (1989). Emotions and Emotional Communication in Infants. American Psychologist, 44, 112–119.
Gianino, A., Tronick, E. Z. (1988). The Mutual Regulation Model: The infant 's self and interactive regulation coping and defense. In Stress and coping, 47-68. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
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