The Four Stages Of John Bowlby's Attachment Theory

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Attachment Theory. Attachment Theory is based on the findings and observation of John Bowlby. He studied a child’s bond with his or her caregiver and reactions of separation. The theory emphasizes the importance of these interactions. (Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K, 2013)
Mary Ainsworth, expanded on Bowlby’s theory by testing his ideas. She developed the Strange Situation a demonstrated episode of mother and child and his or her interactions with a stranger. The mother interacts with the child, while the stranger is either absent or present. The child is eventually left alone with the stranger. Ainsworth recorded and measured the child’s emotional states, giving insight to the severity of attachments a child forms. (Jarvis, M., & Chandler, E., 2001)
Assumptions. According to Bowlby, survival is dependent on a healthy attachment. This bond reflects an enduring socio-emotional relationship. (Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K, 2013) This bond is developed in four stages. Stage 1 is Pre-attachment. During this stage the infant may cry attempting to seek a response, such as comfort, from the caregiver. From birth to 8 weeks of life, the infant uses this tactic to signal caregivers. The Infant learns to distinguish between people and things. (Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K, 2013) The
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Bowlby formed the theory of attachment showing the importance of interaction between parent and child, resulting in emotional bond. In determining attachment Bowlby makes four suggestions. The first is, the time spent between child and caregiver is important. Second, timely response to child, whether in distress or not, and providing for the child’s needs and wants. Third, it is important the childcare provider responds to child with proper emotion, building trust and commitment with the child. Fourth, availability is key, caregivers should be easily available throughout the child’s life, to ensure a healthy attachment. (Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K,

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