The Strange Situation Procedure
Before the 1970’s, one popular theory commonly known as ‘cupboard love’ argued attachment of a child to its mother for example was simply demonstrative of an association to specific reinforces of food and warmth. The Psychologist John Bowlby argued innate abilities present at birth enabled children to create a complex and unique bond with the mother, treating the carer as safe base (Custance, 2012). This goes against previously held beliefs, suggesting more to such a relationship than simply a desire for food.
Having already spent time observing attachment in children In Uganda in the 1950’s, Mary Ainsworth was further inspired by the work of Bowlby and so the ‘Strange Situation’ was born. The study involves a child between the ages of 12 and 24 months, its mother and a stranger. The procedure is comprised of 7 three minute long episodes all based in a controlled surrounding of