Attachment Theory: Children's Attachment to a Caregivers Essay

843 Words Jan 31st, 2013 4 Pages
Securely attached children tend to have caregivers who are responsive to their needs.
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What is Attachment?
Attachment is an emotional bond to another person. Psychologist John Bowlby was the first attachment theorist, describing attachment as a "lasting psychological connectedness between human beings" (Bowlby, 1969, p. 194). Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. According to Bowlby, attachment also serves to keep the infant close to the mother, thus improving the child's chances of survival.
The central theme of attachment theory is that mothers who are available and responsive to their infant's needs establish a sense
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A number of studies since that time have supported Ainsworth's attachment styles and have indicated that attachment styles also have an impact on behaviors later in life.
Characteristics of Attachment
Characteristics of Secure Attachment * Securely attached children exhibit distress when separated from caregivers and are happy when their caregiver returns. Remember, these children feel secure and able to depend on their adult caregivers. When the adult leaves, the child may be upset but he or she feels assured that the parent or caregiver will return.

* When frightened, securely attached children will seek comfort from caregivers. These children know their parent or caregiver will provide comfort and reassurance, so they are comfortable seeking them out in times of need.

Characteristics of Ambivalent Attachment * Ambivalently attached children usually become very distressed when a parent leaves. This attachment style is considered relatively uncommon, affecting an estimated 7-15% of U.S. children. Research suggests that ambivalent attachment is a result of poor maternal availability. These children cannot depend on their mother (or caregiver) to be there when the child is in need.

Characteristics of Avoidant Attachment * Children with an avoidant attachment tend to avoid parents or caregivers. When offered a choice, these children will show no preference between a

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