Describe and Evaluate the influences of childhood behaviour on adult relationships

Topics: Attachment theory / Pages: 4 (911 words) / Published: Dec 2nd, 2013
Desribe and evaluate the influence of childhod experiences on adult relationships
According to John Bowlby’s theory of attachment – specifically the concept of the internal working model, later relationships are likely to be a continuation of early attachment types (secure/insecure) because the behaviour of infants promotes an internal working model or schema which leads to the infant expecting the same in later relationships. For example, someone with an avoidant attachment type is more likely to hold the view that sex without love is pleasurable.
This can be supported by the work of Mary Ainsworth on the ‘strange situation.’ Where children are put into situations both with and without their mother and observed on criteria such as; willingness to explore, stranger anxiety, separation anxiety and reunian behaviour. They found evidence of these three attachment types; secure, insecure-avoidant, and insecure-resistant. And suggested that these attachement types would have an effect of later relationships. However, there are elements of this study that lack ecological vadility as a result of social desirability bias. The parents in the study may act different towards their children under observation that they would in a natural environment, and as a result there may be some level of bias in the results.
Furthermore, Hazan and Shaver conducted a study called the ‘love quiz’ using a selection of volunteers. They were given 2 questionnaires, one to determine their early relationships with parents, the second their later, adult romantic attachments.They found a strong correlation between relationships at a young age and relationships later on in life. For example, the divorce percentage in securely attached participants was only 6% - half of the percentage of divorce with insecurely attached participants. However, as well as the clear social desirability bias as people will look to sounds good, perhaps rather than answering truthfully. There is also an issue as the

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