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Attachment is the strong emotional bond that develops between infant and caregiver

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Introduction

Attachment is the strong emotional bond that develops between infant and caregiver, providing the infant with emotional security. By the second half of the first year, infants have become attached to familiar people who have responded to their need for physical care and stimulation. Maurer and Maurer (1989) suggested that attachments are welded in the heat of interactions. (www.psychology.sunysb.edu) In other words, attachments depend on interaction between two people rather than simply being together. Infants are physically helpless and need adults to feed, care for, and protect them and without such assistance they can not survive. So infants are born with a tendency to form an attachment in order to increase their chances of survival. According to Schaffer (1996) there are certain stages in infant development: � Pre-attachment phase: this stage last until about three month of age. At this stage, infant produce similar responses to all objects. Towards the end of this period, infant are beginning to show a greater preference for social stimuli, such as a smiling face. � Indiscriminate attachment phase: between 2-7 months of age, infant become more social. They prefer human company and can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar people. ...read more.

Middle

To assess Bowlby's research and to question Bowlby's view that it is separation itself that produced harmful long term effects for the child, Rutter did an experiment. He studied over 2000 boys between the ages of 9 -12, living on the Isle of Wight. He used interviews with the boys and their families to see if the boys who had been separated from their mothers in early life turned to crime later on. (www.psychol.ucl.ac.uk) He relied on the proofs of other researchers such as Newson (1974) who argued that mothering skills are not in any way innate or instinctive. Instead, they are skills, which are acquired through practice in communicating with that particular individual baby. As you get to know a baby, and see it as having human sensibilities and a 'personality', you also become more able to detect and understand that baby's responses. Babies, on their part, learn very fast, and respond more to those people who are sensitive to their actions. They are also, as Schaffer and Emerson (1964) showed, more likely to form attachments with people who respond sensitively to them. The implication here is that interacting with babies is a learned skill, and that fathers can acquire these skills just as mothers do, given motivation and opportunity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Detachment - the child seems to have resigned itself to the situation and shows little interest when reunited with the attachment figure. On long term effect of short term deprivation is separation anxiety. It can include detachment, aggressive behaviour, psychosomatic reaction. Research from around the world supports the claim that all infants develop attachment relationships, secure or insecure, with their caregivers. Beyond this, there is considerable evidence that the number of children who develop a secure pattern of attachment is proportionately similar across cultures. In African, Chinese, Israeli, Japanese, Western European, and American cultures alike, most children, about two-thirds, are securely attached to their caregivers. (Ref) The proportion of children who are insecure-avoidant or insecure-ambivalent, however, varies across cultures. Consider that in Japan a higher proportion of children are classified as ambivalent and a lower proportion of children are classified as avoidant than in Western European and American cultures. Japanese infants, in fact, are more likely to be very upset during separations from their caregivers and less likely to explore the environment than American infants. Word count: 2080 words ????????????? www.psychology.sunysb.edu/attachmen (accessed 02/01/2006) www.sfeu.ac.uk/.../documents/ Psychology (accessed 27/12/2005) www.psychematters.com/bibliographies/bowlby. (accessed 02/01/2006) www.psychol.ucl.ac.uk/psychoanalysis/attachment (accessed 07/01/2006) Gross R (2005) The science of mind and behaviour, Fifth Edition, London Armold Cardwell M. Clark L, Meldrum C (2000) Psycology for AS Level, First Edition London Collins ...read more.

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