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Strange Situation

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Introduction

Strange Situation - Ainsworth et al. (1970) Attachment: Attachment is a mutual and intense emotional relationship between two people, in this instance child and caregiver. Compared to other animals. humans are extremely helpless in infancy. relying less on their instincts. Thus unless the infant is highly motivated to stay near the caregiver, and the caregiver is in tune to the infant's needs, we would not be around today. Aims: To establish a universal method of assessing the strength of attachment, and to study individual differences in separation and stranger anxiety in infants aged 12 - 18 months. Procedure: This was a longitudinal study. ...read more.

Middle

Three types of attachment where theorised from these: secure, insecure resistant and insecure avoidant. Attachment Behaviour Secure Attachment Resistant Attachment Avoidant Attachment Separation anxiety Distressed when mother leaves Infant show intense distress Infant is indifferent to separation Stranger anxiety Avoidant of stranger when alone but friendly when mother present Infant avoids the stranger and shows fear Infant is unaffected by the presence of the stranger Infants autonomy Uses mother as a safe base to explore their environment Infant cries more and explores less than the other 2 types Mother is likely to play with them Reunion behaviour Mild protest but predominately happy on return and were easily comforted Infant approaches mother but resists contact, very hard to be comforted Infant shows little interest on ...read more.

Conclusion

Nor does it explain how some infants have radically different attachment styles with their caregivers Conclusion The strange situation is a good method of assessing an infant's attachment, but it is important to remember that these attachment styles are malleable. Also other factors must be considered in the child's life that may affect their behaviour at that current time, such as family stress which can result in the infant being more avoidant, even though they are securely attached. The strange situation and its attachment styles can be good predictors for peer rejection, delinquency and how the child will create relationships. The study has also gone on to influence other attachment assessments such as the AAI, the adult equivalent to the strange situation. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Response to the question

This review of Ainsworth’s Strange Situation is structurally very clear and provides a good summary of the method and theoretical aspects of the technique. The student covers each necessary topic (e.g. introduction to attachment, aims, procedure, findings, and so on) ...

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Response to the question

This review of Ainsworth’s Strange Situation is structurally very clear and provides a good summary of the method and theoretical aspects of the technique. The student covers each necessary topic (e.g. introduction to attachment, aims, procedure, findings, and so on) demonstrating a thorough understanding of the entire concept. It is nice to see an introductory paragraph for attachment, which provides the reader with some background information on what the Strange Situation is measuring (e.g. “Attachment is a mutual and intense emotional relationship between two people, in this instance child and caregiver”), however, the definition is slightly vague and perhaps it could be improved by referencing an official definition of attachment from another author – this would ensure 100% clarity for the reader, and gain extra marks for further reading.

Level of analysis

The student provides a good level of analysis, exploring in detail the findings from the study (e.g. the three types of attachment theorised) as well as a potential explanation for why these attachments are demonstrated (the temperament hypothesis) Furthermore, the student summarises with some nice concluding remarks (e.g. “The strange situation is a good method of assessing an infant’s attachment, but it is important to remember that these attachment styles are malleable”) demonstrating their ability to bring the review to a clear end. The concluding statement also demonstrates the student’s high ability as they address the strengths of the Strange Situation (e.g. influenced other attachment methods), but also show that other factors must be considered (e.g. family stress) – this is important as it demonstrates good critical analysis, showing both sides of an argument objectively. What would improve this, however, is if the student discussed limitations of the Strange Situation method itself, for example, how there may be differences between children who regularly have contact with strangers (in day care for examples) and those who spend most time with their mothers.

Quality of writing

Spelling and grammar are of a consistently high level, only minor points would be to avoid the repetition of the word ‘spurious’ in the evaluation paragraph – the essay is very short so repetition of words like this is not really necessary.


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Reviewed by lcarter17 01/03/2012

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