Attachment Theory Essay

Submitted By melanie116
Words: 1225
Pages: 5

Socialization is how children acquire the behaviour and rules necessary for fitting into society or culture. A child learns the beliefs and attitudes of society and culture it is taught rules which enables them to fit into society. [ (Birch, 2005) ] Infancy is when socialization is especially important, an infant will learn behaviour through their caregiver, although research has found that siblings and grandparents have a role in shaping an infant’s social interactions aswell. This crucial early socialization that takes place is to help develop social interaction between infant and other people these can be smiling, stranger anxiety, separation anxiety, and mutual reciprocity. [ (Birch, 2005) ] Bowlby was a keen theorist in attachment research and believed all these behaviours have survival value and are there to encourage closeness to the caregiver. [ (Birch, 2005) ]Bowlby’s theory will be considered in more detail discussing his theory on attachment. Attachment is an emotional bond between child and caregiver; if this attachment is broke this is when the infant may encounter deprivation or privation. [ (Birch, 2005) ] Deprivation refers to a child that had an attachment to the caregiver and then underwent a separation from this. Privation refers to a child who has never had an attachment to a caregiver, [ (Eysenck, 2000) ] these theories of attachment were not truly studied till the late 1950s [ (Birch, 2005) ] by the likes of Bowlby, Harlow, Rutter and Goldfabb. Research into attachment has been heavily influenced by the psychoanalytical theory and has stressed the importance of bond which develops between an infant and its mother which forms the basis for interpersonal relationships in later life. Bowlby supported this idea but the likes of Rutter disagreed.
This essay is going to discuss in further detail Bowlby’s theory discussing the long term consequences of early life experiences with reference to effects of enrichment, deprivation and separation. And ultimately evaluate and analyse Bowlby’s findings, with support of the likes of Goldfabb and rare instances of extreme deprivation which support Bowlby claims. This essay will also look at other psychologist’s theories and studies and their thoughts of attachment criticising Bowlby’s claims. In order to come to a conclusion on all theories and finding s and to evaluate whether a lack of attachment at early age has an effect on later development.
In the past theory about attachment was based on ideas of instrumental learning for example frauds theory, growth of attachment, Freud focused on the way feeding provides oral gratification which intern provides a basis for the development of attachment, the cupboard love theory. [ (Mike Cardwell, 1996) ] These kinds of theories were question and inadequate by other theorists ,Harlow and bowlbys ideas were influential in the changing views about attachment. [ (Birch, 2005) ].
John Bowlby believed mental health and behavioural problems could be caused by early childhood. [ (McLeod, 2007) ]Bowlby believed that attachment in humans is the result of evolutionary selection. Infants who stay close to their mother will have more chance of survival they are less likely to get in to danger for example lost, injured or attacked, Bowlby believed that the biological need to survive has equipped infants with attachment behaviours for example crying, following, proximity, smiling and clinging to feel secure so when the infant does not feel secure they will portray these behaviours. The mother provides security for the infant as the infants feeling or security increases the child is more likely to explore and leave the mother, Bowlby believed the mother was the most important person in a Childs life. [ (Birch, 2005) ] Bowlby suggested without this vital attachment to just one caregiver usually the mother (monotmos) [ (Birch, 2005) ] a breakdown of the maternal attachment would lead to serious negative consequences.