Attachment Theory Essay

Words: 1142
Pages: 5

Chris Livoti 3/5/13
IB Psychology Mrs. Urso John Bowlby is the pioneer of the attachment theory and worked with children who had been separated from their parents during World War 2. He observed that many of these children developed emotional problems, and he made the connection that the emotional problems stemmed from the separation from the mother. Bowlby was born in London to an upper class family, and would rarely see, and interact with his mother. At the young age of seven he was sent off to boarding school, which was very common for boys of his social status. He would later go on to say "I wouldn't send a dog away to boarding school at age seven." These circumstances would lead
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His findings were that more than half of the juvenile thieves were separated from their mother for longer than six onths between infancy and age five. He also found several young thieves showed affectionless psychopathy. He found that no one in the control group exhibited affectionless psychopathy. The control group were forty-four juveniles with emotional problems but none of them had committed crimes. He concluded that maternal deprivation was the reason for anti-social behavior and emotional problems. The strengths of Bowlby's attachment theory are that he explains development in social relationships, enables predictions about subsequent social relationships, and that he provides specific information about interventions that can improve social functioning. Some weaknesses are that the theory does not talk about attachment in different cultures, and does not talk about how in some cultures the child can have two primary caregivers. Mary Ainsworth was an U.S. psychologist who continued Bowlby's research on attachments, and operationalized Bowlby's concept of attachment so that it could be tested empirically. Ainsworth expanded on Bowlby's work in her strange situation study. The study involved observing children between the ages of 12 to 18 months responding to a situation in which they were briefly left alone, sometimes with a stranger, and then reunited with their mother. Based on these observations Ainsworth