Attachment theory - Wikipedia
These categories can describe children's relationships with both parents and Avoidant children have learned that depending on parents won't get them that Ambivalence (not being completely sure of something) is another way a child may. This study questions the links between the young adolescents quality of attachment to the mother and father (secure, ambivalent or avoidant). Avoidant attachment. • When parents or carers actively discourage Avoidant Attachment Learning Profile Children experience ambivalent attachment.
Dismissively attached adults will often seek out relationships and enjoy spending time with their partner, but they may become uncomfortable when relationships get too close. When faced with threats of separation or loss, many dismissive men and women are able to focus their attention on other issues and goals.
Others tend to withdraw and attempt to cope with the threat on their own.
They deny their vulnerability and use repression to manage emotions that are aroused in situations that activate their attachment needs. A second strategy is to suppress memories of negative attachment events, such as a breakup. In fact, adults categorized as dismissing report very few memories of their early relationship with parents. Others may describe their childhood as happy and their parents as loving, but are unable to give specific examples to support these positive evaluations.
People with this type of attachment style tend to be overly focused on themselves and their own creature comforts, and largely disregard the feelings and interests of other people. They also find it difficult to disclose their thoughts and feelings to their partner. Their typical response to an argument, conflict, and other stressful situation is to become distant and aloof.
Bowlby's original account of a sensitivity period during which attachments can form of between six months and two to three years has been modified by later researchers. These researchers have shown there is indeed a sensitive period during which attachments will form if possible, but the time frame is broader and the effect less fixed and irreversible than first proposed.
With further research, authors discussing attachment theory have come to appreciate social development is affected by later as well as earlier relationships. Early steps in attachment take place most easily if the infant has one caregiver, or the occasional care of a small number of other people. According to Bowlby, almost from the beginning, many children have more than one figure toward whom they direct attachment behaviour. These figures are not treated alike; there is a strong bias for a child to direct attachment behaviour mainly toward one particular person.
Bowlby used the term "monotropy" to describe this bias. Rather, current thinking postulates definite hierarchies of relationships.
This system, called the "internal working model of social relationships", continues to develop with time and experience. As they develop in line with environmental and developmental changes, they incorporate the capacity to reflect and communicate about past and future attachment relationships.
This internal working model continues to develop through adulthood, helping cope with friendships, marriage, and parenthood, all of which involve different behaviours and feelings. Specific attachment behaviours begin with predictable, apparently innate, behaviours in infancy.
They change with age in ways determined partly by experiences and partly by situational factors. A child's behaviour when reunited with a caregiver is determined not only by how the caregiver has treated the child before, but on the history of effects the child has had on the caregiver.
This dyadic model is not the only strategy of attachment producing a secure and emotionally adept child. Having a single, dependably responsive and sensitive caregiver namely the mother does not guarantee the ultimate success of the child.
Results from Israeli, Dutch and east African studies show children with multiple caregivers grow up not only feeling secure, but developed "more enhanced capacities to view the world from multiple perspectives. In hunter-gatherer communities, in the past and present, mothers are the primary caregivers but share the maternal responsibility of ensuring the child's survival with a variety of different allomothers.
So while the mother is important, she is not the only opportunity for relational attachment a child can make. Several group members with or without blood relation contribute to the task of bringing up a child, sharing the parenting role and therefore can be sources of multiple attachment.
There is evidence of this communal parenting throughout history that "would have significant implications for the evolution of multiple attachment. And a child's "uncles and aunts" father's siblings and their spouses also contribute to the child's psycho-social enrichment. Although it has been debated for years, and there are tedious differences amongst cultures, research shows that the three basic aspects of Attachment Theory are in fact universal.
The Strange Situation Protocol[ edit ] The most common and empirically supported method for assessing attachment in infants 11 months—17 months is the Strange Situation Protocol, developed by Mary Ainsworth as a result of her careful in-depth observations of infants with their mothers in Baltimore, USA see below.
While the procedure may be used to supplement clinical impressions, the resulting classifications should not be confused with the psychiatric diagnosis ' Reactive Attachment Disorder RAD '. The clinical concept of RAD differs in a number of fundamental ways from the theory and research driven attachment classifications based on the Strange Situation Procedure. The idea that insecure attachments are synonymous with RAD is, in fact, not accurate and leads to ambiguity when formally discussing attachment theory as it has evolved in the research literature.
This is not to suggest that the concept of RAD is without merit, but rather that the clinical and research conceptualizations of insecure attachment and attachment disorder are not synonymous.
The 'Strange Situation' is a laboratory procedure used to assess infants' pattern of attachment to their caregiver by introducing an unexpected threat, two brief separations from the mother followed by reunion. In the procedure, the mother and infant are placed in an unfamiliar playroom equipped with toys while a researcher films the procedure through a one-way mirror. The procedure consists of eight sequential episodes in which the infant experiences both separation from and reunion with the mother as well as the presence of an unfamiliar person the Stranger.
Mother or other familiar caregiverBaby, Experimenter 30 seconds Episode 2: Mother, Baby 3 mins Episode 3: Mother, Baby, Stranger 3 mins Episode 4: Stranger, Baby 3 mins or less Episode 5: Mother, Baby 3 mins Episode 6: Baby Alone 3 mins or less Episode 7: Stranger, Baby 3 mins or less Episode 8: Mother, Baby 3 mins Mainly on the basis of their reunion behaviour although other behaviors are taken into account in the Strange Situation Paradigm Ainsworth et al.
Group B later called 'secure'Group A later called 'anxious avoidant'and Group C later called 'anxious ambivalent'. There are subclassifications for each group see below. Beginning ina series of expansions were added to Ainsworth's original patterns. They include the following: An infant may have a different pattern of attachment to each parent as well as to alternate caregivers.
Pattern of attachment is thus not a part of the infant, but is characteristic of the protective and comforting quality of a specific relationship. These attachment patterns are associated with behavioral patterns and can help further predict a child's future personality.
5 Signs your child has an avoidant attachment style (and how to fix it!)
Some insecure children will routinely display very pronounced attachment behaviours, while many secure children find that there is no great need to engage in either intense or frequent shows of attachment behaviour. Secure attachment A toddler who is securely attached to his or her parent or other familiar caregiver will explore freely while the caregiver is present, typically engages with strangers, is often visibly upset when the caregiver departs, and is generally happy to see the caregiver return.
The extent of exploration and of distress are affected, however, by the child's temperamental make-up and by situational factors as well as by attachment status. A child's attachment is largely influenced by their primary caregiver's sensitivity to their needs. Parents who consistently or almost always respond to their child's needs will create securely attached children. Such children are certain that their parents will be responsive to their needs and communications.
B1's have been referred to as "secure-reserved", B2's as 'secure-inhibited', B3's as "secure-balanced", and B4's as "secure-reactive". In academic publications however, the classification of infants if subgroups are denoted is typically simply "B1" or "B2" although more theoretical and review-oriented papers surrounding attachment theory may use the above terminology. Securely attached children are best able to explore when they have the knowledge of a secure base their caregiver to return to in times of need.
When assistance is given, this bolsters the sense of security and also, assuming the parent's assistance is helpful, educates the child in how to cope with the same problem in the future. Therefore, secure attachment can be seen as the most adaptive attachment style.
According to some psychological researchers, a child becomes securely attached when the parent is available and able to meet the needs of the child in a responsive and appropriate manner. At infancy and early childhood, if parents are caring and attentive towards their children, those children will be more prone to secure attachment. When the mother departs, the child is often highly distressed.
The child is generally ambivalent when his mother returns. The mixture of seeking and yet resisting contact and interaction has an unmistakably angry quality and indeed an angry tone may characterize behavior in the preseparation episodes".
Perhaps the most conspicuous characteristic of C2 infants is their passivity. Their exploratory behavior is limited throughout the SS and their interactive behaviors are relatively lacking in active initiation. Nevertheless, in the reunion episodes they obviously want proximity to and contact with their mothers, even though they tend to use signalling rather than active approach, and protest against being put down rather than actively resisting release In general the C2 baby is not as conspicuously angry as the C1 baby.
The study also found that children with ambivalent attachments were more likely to experience difficulties in maintaining intimate relationships as adults. The infant will not explore very much regardless of who is there. Infants classified as anxious-avoidant A represented a puzzle in the early s. They did not exhibit distress on separation, and either ignored the caregiver on their return A1 subtype or showed some tendency to approach together with some tendency to ignore or turn away from the caregiver A2 subtype.Attachment Theory
Ainsworth and Bell theorized that the apparently unruffled behaviour of the avoidant infants was in fact a mask for distress, a hypothesis later evidenced through studies of the heart-rate of avoidant infants. This is the strongest type of attachment. A child in this category feels he can depend on his parent or provider.
He knows that person will be there when he needs support. He knows what to expect. He will usually settle down if a friendly adult is there to comfort him.
5 Signs your child has an avoidant attachment style (and how to fix it!)
This can be confusing if the child was upset when the parents left at the beginning of the day. It does not mean that the child is not happy to see the parents. How do adults build secure attachment relationships?
Over time, a securely attached child has learned that he can rely on special adults to be there for him. He knows that, if he ever needs something, someone will be there to help. A child who believes this can then learn other things. He will use special adults as a secure base. He will smile at the adult and come to her to get a hug.
Then he will move out and explore his world. Note about different cultures: