Essay on Attachment Theory, By John Bowlby And Mary Ainsworth

1188 Words Apr 12th, 2016 null Page
Significance Attachment theory, first formulated by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth is one of the leading frameworks in developmental psychology. Originally there was three attachment classifications, secure, avoidant, and ambivalent (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978). Securely attached infants are distressed when a parent leaves yet soothed and happy when they return Avoidant infants do not show a preference for the mother and are not excited when she returns. Ambivalent infants do not explore much and are distressed when the mother leaves yet not comforted when she returns (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978). These three attachment styles did seem to capture the behaviors of all of the infants being studied and therefore Mary Main and Josh Solomon introduced the fourth attachment classification - disorganized attachment. Approximately 15% of infants in low risk situations and as many 82% of infants in high-risk situations are classified as disorganized (van Ijzendoorn, Schuengel, & Bakermans-Kraneburg, 1999). The disorganized attachment classification is considered the most harmful for a child (Duschinsky, 2015). The main feature of disorganized infants is “fright without solution” (Main & Solomon, 1990). In other words, the parent is the source of the fear but also the potential reliever of the fear, leading the child to have an attachment system that is contradictory and confusing (Ramona, Rholes, & Kohn, 2015). Other characteristics of the…

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