The Attachment Theory Of Infants

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Infants depend on their caregivers to foster a nurturing environment in which they can develop a secure representation of self, others and the world. Attachment theory, developed jointly by Bowlby and Ainsworth, describes the multiple ways an infant can emotionally attach to their primary caregiver (Bretherton 1992). Bowlby explained that innate behaviors of infants, such as clinging, sucking and following, promote the formation of secure attachment between the infant and mother when the mother responds to these cues appropriately (Bretherton 1992). Building on Bowlby’s work, Ainsworth contributed to the understanding of attachment by developing the first empirical method for its measurement, the Strange Situation (Bretherton 1992). From her …show more content…
Infants of more sensitive mothers were more likely to be securely attached, operationalized as less crying and more exploratory behavior. The quality of caregiving the infant receives is based largely on the mother’s sensitivity, which includes being responsive to the infant’s cues and responding to them appropriately, tenderly holding the infant and engaging the child in mutually satisfying interactions. It is now widely accepted that mothers of securely attached children serve as a secure base from which they can explore the world (McLeod …show more content…
It is therefore important to understand the factors that influence a child’s attachment style in order to advise on proper parenting techniques and provide helpful insight to therapists in clinical settings. There are a wide range of factors that influence an infant-caregiver attachment. Factors related to both the infant and the caregiver can cause the development of differing attachment styles. One of the main caregiver-related factors is the quality of caregiving provided to the infant, otherwise known as the caregiver’s sensitivity to the infant. This factor can be mediated by parental characteristics. As society progresses deeper into the technological era, electronic devices have become pervasive in most people’s daily lives. Some argue that the increasing use of communication and entertainment technologies results in the degradation of social interaction, with a potential consequence on the development of children. It is possible that excessive technology use by caregivers might interfere with their infant interactions by reducing their available attention, thus decreasing their sensitivity to the infant. As caregiver sensitivity is a primary determinant of secure attachment, it is conceivable that technology use can indirectly affect the security of an infant’s attachment. Quality of

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