PS506 Attachment Theory
PS506 Lifespan Development
In this review of the article “Attachment, exploration, and separation: Illustrated by the behavior of one-year olds in a strange situation” the author Mary Ainsworth discusses an experiment she conducted known as the Strange Situation. This paper will review this experiment and the findings and provide an opinion on the credibility of the experiment. Two possible interventions for parent/child attachment will be offered.
The Strange Situation is an experiment conducted by Mary Ainsworth in order to determine how attachment differs in toddlers. Attachment theory looks at the interpersonal relationship between people and how bonds are formed. John Bowlby developed the attachment theory finding people form emotional bonds with other people overtime. This attachment does not have to be shared with one person forming an attachment but the other not forming the same attachment. The Strange Situation experiment resulted in the development of three types of attachment between the mother and child. Each of these attachment styles developed by Ainsworth is beneficial to understanding the types of attachments children form. https://tiptopessays.com/wp-admin/post-new.php
Attachment is characterized by specific behaviors in children, such as seeking proximity with the attachment figure when upset or threatened (Bowlby, 1969). The attachment theory is designed to explain the parent-child relationship and how attachments form. The attachment theory was established by Bowlby but the discovery of different types of attachments by children was a discovery made by Schaffer and Emerson in 1964. The research conducted by Schaffer and Emerson (1964) discovered some children require more attachment from their caregivers while other infants required less time and cuddling. This discovery eventually led to the research conducted by Ainsworth.
Ainsworth was interested in discovering how attachment forms in infant and young children. The goal of the experiment was to see how children respond when they are placed in strange or uncomfortable positions. The Strange Situation procedure applied eight different episodes that lasted three minutes each.
- Mother, child, researcher are in the room for around one minute
- Next Mother and baby are left in room alone
- Stranger joins Mother and child
- Next Mother leaves the room leaving the baby and stranger alone
- Next mother returns to the room and the stranger leaves
- Next the mother leaves the room leaving the infant all alone
- Stranger returns alone
- Next Mother returns and stranger leaves
During the research Ainsworth would note the changes in the child’s behavior during every episode. During the research Ainsworth recorded behaviors, such as separation anxiety. Separation anxiety refers to the feelings of unease the infant child experienced when mother left room. The child’s willingness to explore the room when left alone was recorded as well as the level of anxiety displayed when the child was left in the room with the stranger. Lastly was reunion behavior was recorded by Ainsworth. This behavior the child displayed when reunited with their mother.
PS506 Attachment Theory