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Outline the development of attachment

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Assignment One Attachment 1. Outline the development of attachment According to Shaffer, the development of attachment can be divided into four main phases. Other researchers have then added two additional stages to this original theory. * Pre Attachment Phase - from birth to 3 months. From 6 weeks the baby develops an attraction to other humans, especially adults in preference to other objects. This can be illustrated through social behaviours like gurgling, reaching out and smiling. * Indiscriminate Attachment Phase - from 3 to 7 months. The infant begins to show preference for familiar over un-familiar people. However, a stranger looking at them will not cause too much distress. * Discriminate Attachment Phase - from 7 to 9 months. The infant begins to develop specific attachments, particularly with the mother. Separation anxiety occurs when the attachment figures leave and infants also begin to display a fear of strangers. * Multiple attachment phase - From 9 months onwards. Strong ties develop with major caregivers eg. Father, siblings and non-caregivers eg. Children. * Relationship develops as two way - From 2 to 3 years. Before this time the adult is purely a means of getting what the infant wants. Now the infant begins to give something back in return * Lessoning of the physical closeness to the adult. ...read more.


* Additionally, the "critical period" during which imprinting can occur was thought to be limited and severely restricted to the animals very early life. Bowlby , who first applied this idea to the infant-caregiver bond, was inspired by Lorenz's studies of imprinting in baby geese. He believed that the human baby, like the young of most animal species, is equipped with a set of built-in behaviours that helps keep the parent nearby, increasing the chances that the infant will be protected from danger. Contact with the parent also ensures that the baby will be fed, but Bowlby was careful to point out that feeding is not the basis of attachment. According to Bowlby, the infant's relationship to the parent begins as a set of innate signals that call the adult to the baby's side. As time passes, a true affectionate bond develops, which is supported by new cognitive and emotional capacities as well as a history of consistent, sensitive and responsive care by the parent. Out of this experience, children form an enduring affectional bond with their caregivers that enable them to use this attachment figure as a secure base. The inner representation of this parent-child bond becomes an important part of personality. It serves as an internal working model, or set of expectations about the availability of attachment figures, the likelihood of receiving support from them during times of stress, and the interaction with those figures. ...read more.


She learned to say and recognise a lot of words, and though she never got to grips with grammar, she communicated well. Accordingly, she made about a year's progress for every year after she was found. Another area of concern was Genie's ability to form attachments. She did seem to become attached to the family who looked after her, and became gradually more sociable. However, after four years with the Riglers, the research funding was cut. Genie still displayed a lot of difficult behaviour, such as tantrums, and looking after her had been a real strain on the family, so the Riglers gave up looking after her, and Genie returned to her biological mother. Unfortunately, Genie was too difficult for her mother to take care of, and she was placed in a series of care homes and foster homes, where she was sometimes treated very badly, and she regressed dramatically. This study shows that extreme privation has serious and lasting effects, on both emotional development (attachment) and cognitive development (language), but these effects can be reversed to some extent with high quality care. It is not clear whether Genie suffered from some kind of learning difficulties from birth. Dr Jake Shurley found that Genie had abnormal sleep spindles, which suggested she had been brain damaged; however it was argued that as Genie had made such good progress she must have been 'normal' at some point. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Niamh Corey Psychology ...read more.

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