The Formation Of Attachments And Its Effects On The Way We Form Future Attachments Or Can The Damage

1684 Words Nov 5th, 2016 7 Pages
The term attachment describes a bond between individuals that is developed over time. Attachments are usually to our primary caregivers, this process is considered to be biological and present from birth (Prior and Glaser 2006). The formation of attachments is a psychological connectedness that is lasting between individuals, Bowlby (1969) Due to this, it is an integral part in the way we develop relationships. However, if adversity does disrupt our attachment development, can this have consequences in the way we form future attachments or can the damage be reversible? Harlow (1958), through his study of monkeys, showed that early attachment disruptions can predict long term harm. One group of infant monkey were isolated over a long period of time and received no interaction. When they were eventually put back with other monkeys, they displayed abnormal behavioural patterns similar to those of people with misdirected aggression, such as rocking back and forth and clutching themselves. They were unable to communicate with other monkeys and indulged in self-mutilation, biting and scratching as well as tearing out their hair. Harlow concluded that privation can cause permanent damage, the extent of the abnormal behaviour reflected on the length of their isolation. The monkeys that were in isolation for 3 months or less were not as affected in comparison to those in isolation for a year as they never overcame this.
Harlow also did a similar study with monkey but this time,…

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