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Types of Attachment

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Introduction

Types of Attachment The different types of attachment were investigated by placing 12-18 month-old infants in an increasingly stressful environment or 'Strange Situation' by Ainsworth (1970) whose main interest was in individual differences between mother-child pairs regarding the quality of their attachment. Strange Situation was made of seven episodes and each one lasted about three minutes, excluding the first one which lasted about thirty seconds. The seven episodes of the Strange Situation are: * Caregiver and infant enter the room * Stranger enters the room * Caregiver leaves * Caregiver returns and stranger leaves * Caregiver leaves * Stranger returns * Caregiver returns and stranger leaves The results of this study led the researchers to conclude that there were three main attachment types that they described as Type B - secure attachment, Type A - insecure-avoidant attachment and Type C - insecure-resistant. ...read more.

Middle

They also rejected the stranger's attempts to comfort them. The relationship style of these infants involved keeping a distance and avoiding closeness. The last type of attachment in Strange Situation was insecure-resistant where infants were very upset at separation but were not easily comforted when the mother returned. They appeared to be angry and rejected mother's attempts to comfort them. These infants changed between seeking closeness and wanting distance. 15% of the babies fell into this category. There are number of factors that influence the development of secure and insecure attachments, including maternal sensitivity, infant temperament and emotional availability. Bowlby says that responding to the needs of the infant is very important in developing attachments - more secure attachments form with more responsive caregivers. ...read more.

Conclusion

child temperament), and intergenerational transmission of values and beliefs. The fact that securely attached infants are thought to have a healthy emotional and social development is supported by evidence that they tend to become popular and confident social leaders (Stroufe, 1983). This research shows that the attachment types identified by the 'Strange Situation' have validity. Repetition of the procedure later in life produces the same results in infants, so the method also has reliability. However, some critics have argued that Ainsworth's research lacks validity because of the strange and unfamiliar nature of the playroom, which wasn't the child's home. But the situation itself is similar to many that children may experience such as being left at nursery suggesting that the method may provide a valid measure of the infant's response to separations. ...read more.

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