Discuss the evidence that attachment relationships in early childhood can have positive and negative consequences.
Attachment is described as an "affectionate reciprocal relationship between an individual and another individual." Much psychological research has been carried out into the types of attachments that infants form with their caregivers, and the results gained from these studies show how early attachments can affect children whether positively or negatively. Some psychologists claim that the ability to attach to the caregiver is innate in babies. Bowlby said that babies are born with an innate tendency to create strong emotional bonds with their caregivers'. This is mainly for survival because the caregiver provides them with food and shelter. Ainsworth sees attachment as an emotional bond. The baby feels a sense of security and comfort when with the caregiver, and uses them as a safe base to explore the world. Ainsworth carried out a study to find how securely attached, infants were to their caregivers. Ainsworth's Strange Situation has found there to be three types of attachments. Some infants were found to have a secure attachment, where separation and stranger anxiety occurred, and the infants were comforted when their caregiver returned. Infants were said to have an avoidant attachment when they treated caregivers and strangers in the same way, and avoided contact on the mother's return. When infants were greatly upset upon separation from their caregivers and could not be comforted by stranger or caregiver, they were said to have a resistant attachment. There are different factors that influence which attachment a child will have with its caregiver. These could include whether the child is placed in an institution, whether the child has an illness which means it has to stay in hospital over a long period of time, or the health of the parents e.g. if the child's caregiver suffers from depression this will have an effect on the...
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