Outline and evaluate theories and or studies on the effects of early experience on adult relationships (8+16 marks)
The quality and type of relationships differ between individuals:some are happy with long term-relationships, others prefer more temporary, less passionate relationships. Some individuals seem 'lucky in love', while others seem to struggle to maintain a long term stable relationship.
Bowlby (1951) believed that the type of quality of relationship that individuals have with their primary caregivers provides the foundation for adult relationships by forming an internal working model hat acts as a template for all future relationships. This is the Continuity Hypothesis, the belief that similar relationships will occur as an adult.
One theory that is thought to affect someones future relationships is the attachment styles a child can develop. These Attachment styles are determined by Mary Ainsworth's strange situation experiment, where a child is either Secure attachment, Insecure-resistant attachment or Insecure-avoidant attachment type. It is believed attachment style provides children with a set of beliefs about themselves and others and the nature of relationships. The Continuity Hypothesis sees attachment as a main factor as predicting the nature of adult relationships. Therefore, someone who is securely attached as an infant will have similar relationships throughout life.
This is Theory is supported by the study of HAZAN & SHAVER (1987). The experiment consisted of a 'love quiz' questionnaire that was published in a newspaper. The questions were designed to classify and individual as one of Ainsworth's attachment type. The questionnaire also included q's which aimed to assess the pps childhood relationships with their caregivers, and their romantic experiences in their life. Results showed that attachment type that individual had shown as a child was related to how they felt about adult relationships. Showed secure attachment types...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document