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Evaluate Bowlby's Theory of Attachment

  • Essay length: 554 words
  • Submitted: 08/12/2011
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AS and A Level Developmental Psychology

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Evaluating Bowlby's theory of Attachment

One study which supports Bowlby's theory of attachments is Schaffer & Emerson's (1964) study of 60 infants from Glasgow showed that most infants formed their first attachment with one particular person. But, nearly one third formed multiple attachments (to two or more persons) in which these appeared to be no preferred attachment figure. This became increasingly common as the infants grew older. This study supports Bowlby's theory of Monotropy & hierarchy, because it shows that that infants do form primary attachments to the Monotropy, however it also disproves this theory, by presenting that a hierarchy isn't formed between the Monotropy & other multiple attachments, meaning the infants show no preference between what should be their closest attachment & their lower multiple attachments.

Sroufe et al's (2005) longitudinal study, supports Bowlby's theory of attachment by following participants from infancy to late adolescence & finding that early attachment type predicted later emotional & social behaviour. For example, secure infants were more likely to be rated as more popular. This supports the continuity hypothesis, because the infants showed continuity as the infant's attachment in childhood became their adult social & emotional behaviour.


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