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Critically consider the Strange Situation as a measure of attachment type.

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Introduction

Critically consider the Strange Situation as a measure of attachment type. The Strange Situation, in which infants are exposed to eight different episodes involving the mother and/or a stranger, is widely used to test attachments, although there are many different views regarding its validity and reliability. In order for the Strange Situation to be considered reliable, a child tested at different times should produce the same reaction every time; this was supported by Main, Kapland and Cassidy's 1985 study which found that 100% of infants who had been securely attached before 18 months were still securely attached at 6 years, and 75% of those who had been anxious-avoidant remained so. ...read more.

Middle

The Strange Situation places infants into one of three categories, however Main and Solomon (1986) argued that a fourth attachment type, called disorganized and disorientated, was displayed in a small number of children. Their behaviour was a confusing mixture of approach and avoidance, and they generally were unable to form a strategy to cope with the Strange Situation. There are also marked intercultural differences in the ways infants react, as shown by Van Ijzendioorm and Kroonenburg (1998), who carried out 32 studies worldwide. Overall, Type B (secure attachment) is prevalent, but there is a higher proportion of type A in western Europe, and of type C in Israel and Japan. ...read more.

Conclusion

that infants' attachment behaviour is much stronger in a laboratory than they are at home. The study also focuses too much upon the behaviour of the infantr concerned, and not enough on that of the mother, which can have an effect on the results collected. It is hard to differentiate between the infant-mother attachment relationship and the species-characteristic behaviour from which it stems, as infants are predisposed to become attached. As the form of attachments in young children depends in the highly complex, not yet understood ways upon the sensitivity of the mother and temperament of the infant, it is unclear as of yet whether early attachment does influence social and emotional development in later life. ...read more.

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