An Evalution of the Attachment Theory Essay

13064 Words Feb 16th, 2012 53 Pages
THE ATTACHMENT THEORY

AN EVALUTION OF THE ATTACHMENT THEORY

WHEN WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN CARE

Gail Walters

Dissertation

Social Work BA (HONS)

Manchester Metropolitan University

Tutor: Pauline Black

CONTENTS

Pages

Abstract 3

Acknowledgements 4

Statement of Ownership 5

Chapter1: Introduction

1. An
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Mary Ainsworth (1978) provided experiential support for Bowlby’s attachment theory by designing the ‘Strange Situation’ test. The ‘Strange Situation’ test was designed to cause stress to the attachment behavioural system that could occur in everyday situations, to measure the quality of attachment. (Lamb et, al: 1985). Ainsworth’s (1978) ‘strange situation test’ classified infants as being secure or insecure to their caregivers and different attachment types were identified. These will later be discussed in detail.

Prior et al (2006) advocates that a newborn baby needs a carer to take care of them and this is when a bond would normally be formed. The carer would represent the infant’s secure base of exploration and trust, and a relationship would be built. When a child wants to explore away from this base and encounters possible danger, the carer would be the child’s secure base for its protection. Bowlby (1969) stated that primary functions of attachment for the infant consisted of firstly, ’’ the safe haven, secondly; a secure base to explore from and lastly; proximity maintenance to be in close proximity to the parent.’’ (Bowlby 1969:42). The attachment relationship between the infant and the primary caregiver usually begins in the first year, with the infant

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