Q. Outline Influence of Childhood Experiences on Adult Relationships

Good Essays
Outline the influence of childhood and/or adolescents experiences on later adults relationships (8+16)

Individuals differ in their relationships; psychologists have researched whether adult relationships are related to early experiences in life. Bowlby believes that the type of relationship the individual has with their primary caregiver gives a basis of a future relationship. This is called the internal working model. The fear of strangers represents an important survival mechanism, which is by nature, babies display social releasers which helps them ensure contact or proximity with the primary caregiver, as they similarly will with their partner in their adult relationship. Another example of the internal working model is the continuity hypothesis, which is a key theory to explaining childhood or adolescent experiences on later adult relationships, where it states that childhood relationships will affect your future relationships, Mary Ainsworth explores this by looking at our relationships as infants as concluded three types: Secure, insecure-avoidant, insecure-resistant. Secure is where the infant is in a calm state even without the presence of the primary caregiver, secure avoidant is where shows little distress, avoids contact with caregiver when returns, and insecure-resistant is when child shows a lot of distress, anxious and nervous. This demonstrates the relationship that the child has with the primary caregiver when they are present and not present. This gives the child a set of beliefs about themselves and the nature of the relationship with others, the continuity thesis see’s this as a predictive behaviour of future relationships.
Hazen and Shaver also devised a theory that supports the continuity thesis, they say that when a child perceives a threat to a relationship or themselves, they will feel frightened or worried, therefore they seek the primary caregivers attention. Depending on the situation the attachment behaviour varies

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