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To What Extent Do Individual Differences In Attachments Effect Later Development?

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Introduction

To What Extent Do Individual Differences In Attachments Effect Later Development? An attachment is a type of bond where there is a want to be close to the object or person involved in the attachment. Of course, not every attachment is the same; this is expressed through the words 'individual difference'. Mary Ainsworth concluded from The Strange Situation that there are three different types of attachments; Secure Attachment, this is thought to be the 'normal' type of bond between a child and its caregiver, the baby showed stranger anxiety and separation anxiety, it also greeted the caregiver with enthusiasm and used them as a secure base for exploration. The second type is Avoidant Attachment, in this case the child is unresponsive to the attachment figure and to the stranger, and shows no signs of distress when the caregiver leaves. The last type is Anxious Attachment as shown in the name, a child with the attachment is uneasy, and so seeks closeness to the caregiver prior to separation failing to explore its surroundings. However on the caregiver's return, the infant is angry and not easily soothed. ...read more.

Middle

The findings are in some way unreliable as the data was collected through the participants sending the results of the quiz back, only certain types of people may fill in and return the questionnaire and only certain types of people may read the paper that the quiz was printed in. The results would also be affected by external factors, for example the individual's mood or interaction with their parents recently; if they had just had an argument with their parents, their attitudes towards them would be different to normal. The participants could give biased answers to the questions, in order to make themselves feel better about their relationships for example. As adults were asked, they had to fill in the quiz about their childhood attachments through memories, which could be distorted or altered. Generational transmission suggests that an individual's early attachments affects how they interact with their child as an adult, and in doing so their children's attachments. Main and Hesse recognised this relationship between attachments and later development when they carried out a study in 1990. It comprised of an interview that classified adult's attachments to parents through asking them questions about; their childhood experiences, their current relationship with their parents, if they were ever ...read more.

Conclusion

Chess and Thomas defined three different temperamental types; the 'easy child' who is generally positive and adaptable, 'the difficult child' who is just the opposite and the 'slow-to-warm-up' child who is shy and not adaptable but is not difficult. These temperaments could be used to explain why a child develops a good or bad relationship with its caregiver, and also why in later development similar relationships evolve. However, Kagan did not have much evidence to support his theory, in fact most evidence goes against his hypothesis e.g. The Strange Situation (Ainsworth). From the evidence I have discovered, it seems to me that later development is a mix of temperament and early attachments. If a child's temperamental state is not properly understood and accepted by the parent the attachment could be insecure and later development negatively affected. I think that it is a mix of the child's and parent's temperaments that mould how they interact, and therefore the attachment that they form, and so this attachment, along with the temperament of the child contribute to their development, along with other external factors such as an event in the child's life. Lucinda Watkins 12.6 ...read more.

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