This report will look at John Bowlby’s theory of attachment. He believed that the separation between an infant and the primary caregiver at an early stage can cause distress and emotional problems later on in life. The report will look at Bowlby’s theory, those who supported or worked with him, those who criticized him and how we can see his theory in today’s practice. Biography
John Bowlby was born the fourth of six children in an upper-middle-class London family. His father was a surgeon to the King’s Household and Bowlby only seen his mother for an hour each day after dinner. His siblings and him were brought up by a nanny, this was a typical British fashion of his class at this time. Although he rarely seen his mother, during the summer she was more available to spend time with the children, she thought that too much parental attention and affection towards the children could lead to spoiling children. Bowlby claims he was lucky to have his nanny in his family present during his childhood. When Bowlby was four years old his nanny, who was his primary caregiver, left the family. Later on in his writings he described this as the tragic loss of a mother. When Bowlby was seven years old he was sent to boarding school, this was a common thing for boys of his age and social status. In his writing, “Separation: Anxiety and Anger” he said that this was a horrible time for him. He said that because of the horrible experiences he had as a child, he was able to display a sensitivity to other children’s sufferings. Bowlby said that boarding schools were appropriate for children aged eight and above and went on to say, “If the child is maladjusted, it may be useful for him to be away for part of the year from the tensions which produced his difficulties, and if the home is bad in other ways the same is true. The boarding school has the advantage of preserving the child's all-important home ties, even if in slightly attenuated form, and,...
Linda Pound, How Children Learn, Step Forward Publishing Limited
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