Bowlby's Theory of Attachments Essays

864 Words Oct 2nd, 2013 4 Pages
John Bowlby’s Theory

Attachment is a strong and emotional bond that develops over time between two individuals that is reciprocal.

1. THE THEORY * Bowlby’s theory suggests that attachment is evolutionary and is needed to aid survival. * He did observational research to link orphans with psychological damage. * Babies are helpless and rely on adults. They make instinctive decisions because they haven’t actually learnt anything yet. Bowlby said that babies must be genetically programmed to form attachments with others because this will help them to survive. * Five key aspects to Bowlby’s theory: * Attachment is adaptive and aids survival. * Babies have an innate need for care – social releasers (built
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* A baby requires continuous presence of a primary carer for the first 18 months. Deprivation results in problems with emotional and intellectual development and even affectionless psychopathy (long term maternal deprivation hypothesis).

2. THE 44 JUVENILE THIEVES * Bowlby believes that the relationship between the infant and its mother during the first three years of life was most crucial (the critical period). * His theory suggested that the children who have long-term maternal deprivation will have harmful effects on their emotional, social, intellectual and physical development. * To test his hypothesis, Bowlby studied 44 adolescents who had been referred to a child guidance clinic because they’d been stealing. * The aim was to investigate the effects of maternal deprivation on people in order to see whether delinquents have suffered deprivation. * Bowlby selected a control group of 44 emotionally disturbed adolescents who didn’t steal. * He interviewed both groups and their parents. * The results showed that 17 of the thieves had experienced frequent separations from their mothers before the age of two, compared with only two in the control group. * 14 of the thieves were ‘affectionless psychopaths’. 12 of these 14 had experiences separation from their mothers. None of the control group were affectionless

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