Attachment Psychology


Terms in this set (...)

A strong 2 way emotional bond between the caregiver and the infant.
Description of how to people interact. Mother-infant interaction is reciprocal in that both infant and mother respond to each other's signals and each elicits a response from the other.
Interactional Synchrony
Mother and infant both the actions and emotions of each other in a co-ordinated way.
Stages of attachment
Many developmental theories identify a sequence of qualitatively different behaviours linked to specific ages. In stages of attachment some characteristics of the infant's behaviour towards others change as the infant gets older.
Separation Anxiety
An infants response to when the infant is separated from the main caregiver.
Stranger Anxiety
An infants response to when a stranger interacts with an infant.
Secondary attachments
Attachments formed by the infant with other people they see regularly.
Animal Studies
Studies carried out on non-human animal species rather than on humans, either for ethical or practical reasons.
Rapid learning that occurs during a brief receptive period, typically soon after birth or hatching, and establishes a long-lasting behavioural response to a specific individual or object, as attachment to parent, offspring, or site.
Maternal Deprivation
The emotional and intellectual consequences of separation between a child and his/her mother of mother substitute. Bowlby proposed that continuous care from a mother is essential for normal psychological development, and that prolonged separation from this adult causes serious damage to emotional and intellectual development.
Learning Theory
A set of theories from the behaviourist approach to psychology, that emphasises the role of learning in the acquisition of behaviour. Explanations of learning include classical and operant condition.
Classical conditioning
A learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired: a response which is at first elicited by the second stimulus is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone.
Operant Conditioning
Operant conditioning involves learning through the consequences of behavioural responses.
Drive Reduction
According to this theory, some physiological need (need for water) occurs that creates a state of tension (you feel thirsty) which in turn motivates you to reduce the tension or satisfy the need (drink water).
Primary Drive
Hunger, cold; discomfort motivates the infant to find comfort, food and warmth; primary reinforces.
Secondary Drive
Is the attachment which the infant has formed to the caregiver due to the need to be supplied with primary reinforces.
Secondary reinforcer
Caregiver supplying the comfort; primary reinforces.
Term used to describe Bowlby's Theory. Mono means ones and indicates that one attachment is different from all others and of central importance to the child's development.
Internal Working Models
Mental schema of our attachment to our primary caregiver.
Critical Period
The time within which the monotropic attachment must be formed. 2 1/2 - 3 years old.
Sensitive period: it is easier to form attachment, it is harder after but possible.
Evolutionary Theory (Adaptive)
An infant which forms a monotropic attachment is more likely to survive. Any trait related to this attachment will be naturally selected, they are called adaptive traits. Innate system to help us survive.
We are born with the need to form attachments in order to survive.
Social Releasers
Cute baby traits which attract adults to care for them. Unlock adult's attachment system.
The study of animal behaviour.
Lorenz's Research
Method: Field Experiment
IV: who the ducklings would follow (him or mother).
Procedure: control group - normal procedure of seeing mother first. Experimental group - saw Lorenz first.
Findings: imprinting is innate and causes them to imprint on the first moving thing they see.
Harlow's Research
Aim: to study the basis of attachment.
Method: lab experiment.
Sample: 16 baby resus monkeys.
Procedure: he put monkeys in cages with 2 monkey mothers; one cloth mum (tactile comfort) and one wire mum which had milk.
Findings: baby monkeys prefered cloth mum - contact comfort more important than food when it comes to attachment.
Contradicst the learning theory of Cupboard love of miller
Strange Situation
A controlled observation used to measure infant's attachment types. This is measure based on 7 situations, which test the infant's response to:
Proximity seeking
Exploration and secure-base behaviour
Stranger anxiety
Separation anxiety
Response at reunion.
Secure attachment (Type B)
Feel free to explore but check in at base regularly. They seek proximity moderately.
Demonstrate moderate stranger and separation anxiety.
Easily comforted at reunion.
Insecure-avoidant (Type A)
Don't seek any proximity.
Explore freely without going back to secure base.
Demonstrate low stranger and separation anxiety.
Avoid comfort at reunion, little reaction.
Insecure-resistant (Type C)
Clingy, seeking high proximity.
Don't explore.
Demonstrate high stranger and separation anxiety.
Aren't easily comforted at reunion, resist comforting.
Cultural Variations
Differences of norms and values in different groups (cultures). In attachment the difference in attachment types in different cultures measure with the Strange Situation.
Cultural Variations of Attachment Types Stats.
Britain: 70% securely attached (highest).
Israel: 30% insecure-resistant (highest) - as a result of being raised in a Kibbutz (communal living).
Germany: 30% insecure-avoidant - value independence.
China: 50% secure (lowest).
van IJzendoorn & Kroonenberg (1988)
Aim: to look at the different proportions of attachment types in different cultures.
Meta-analysis of 32 studies across 8 different countries, 15 of which in the USA.
Attachment was measure with the strange situation.
Sample: 2000 children.
Findings: wide variation, insecure-resistant least common across all countries, secure most popular.
The effects of living in an institutional setting. Orphanage where children live for long, continuous periods of time with little emotional care. Effects on attachment and development.
Orphan studies
A means of studying the effects of institutionalisation and maternal deprivation.
Background of the Romanian Orphan Studies
In Romania in the 1990's the President forced all women to have 5 children to increase the work force. Most families couldn't afford to sustain 5 so had to send them to orphanages.
Childhood relationships
Affiliations with other people during childhood: friends/adults/teachers.
Adult relationships
Later life relationships: friendships/romantic partners/children/work relationships.
Wilson & Smith (Bullying)
Questionnaire, 196 7-11 years olds in London
Secure - not involved in bullying
Insecure-avoidant - victims
Insecure-resistant - bullies
Hazan & Shaver (Love Quiz)
Love Quiz in USA Newspaper, 620 adults.
Correlation between attachment type and adult relationships.
Secure - long lasting.
Insecure - lack of intimacy
McCarthy (Relationships)
40 adult women, attachment as infant.
Correlation between attachment and future relationships.
Kerns (Childhood relationships)
Securely attached children form the best-quality friendships.
Insecurely attached children have relationship issues.
Bailey et al. (Parenting)
99 mothers were assessed as their infant attachment and attachment to their child.
Attachment types are passed through generations. Parenting styles are based on internal working models.
Rutter's ERA study (English and Romanian Adoptee)
Aim: to what extent good care could make up for early deprivation.
Method: Natural Observation
Sample: 165 romanian orphans (adopted in uk) and 52 UK orphans - control group.
Procedure: Physical, Cognitive and Emotional Development were assessed at 4,6,11 and 15 years of age.
Findings: Start - delayed development & bad health.
At 11 different levels of development based on age of adoption: adopted within 6 months of critical period did better.
After this period they showed disinhibited attachment.
Bucharest Early Intervention Project (Zeanah et al.)
Assessed attachment in 95 children between 12-31 months old using the strange situation, which had been institutionalised.
Control group of 50 children which were never institutionalised.
74% control group were secure.
19% of institutionalised were secure / 65% disorganised attachment.
Stage 1: Asocial Stage
0-6 weeks
Babies response to human and non-human objects is similar. Happier in the presence of humans, however indiscriminate of humans.
Stage 2: Indiscriminate Attachment
6 weeks-7 months
Indiscriminately enjoy human company, respond equally to any caregiver. They get upset when someone stops interacting with them. 3 months+ easier if comforted from a regular caregiver and smile more at familiar faces.
Stage 3: Specific Attachment
7-9 months
Special preference to a single attachment figure. Particular people can comfort, provide security and protection. Stranger and separation anxiety.
Stage 4: Multiple Attachments
10 months+
Baby becomes more independent and forms multiple attachments, usually by 18 months. Babies attached more to those which responded accurately to their signals; sensitive responsiveness.
Bowlby's 44 thieves study
Aim: to investigate links between affectioneless psychopathy and maternal deprivation.
Sample: 88 total, 44 criminal teenagers, control group of 44 teenagers.
Procedure: interviewed for signs of affectioneless psychopathy and families were interviewed to know whether there were long periods of separation from primary caregiver. Control group was also interviewed for affectioneless psychopathy and prolonged separation from mothers.
Findings: 14/44 thieves were affectioneless psychopaths, 17/44 thieves had maternal deprivation, 12/14 affectioneless psychopaths had suffered of maternal deprivation.
Control group: 2/44 had maternal deprivation, 0/44 affectioneless psychopaths.
Conclusion: Prolonged separation (maternal deprivation) causes affectionless psychopathy.