paper2 - Attachment Behavior 1 Attachment Behavior: Theory...

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Attachment Behavior 1 Attachment Behavior: Theory and Explanations Colleen Kelly Emerson College
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Attachment Behavior 2 The development of children has always been an important topic in psychology. How do people turn into the people they are? What makes one person do evil things and another do good? What makes one child shy and another outgoing? Is it nature or is it nurture? These are many of the questions psychologists think about when studying child development, independence, and stability. It seems that people are not born with their adult characteristics and personality traits, yet not all of those traits are taught either. It’s a thin line between what is taught and what is instinctive. Various psychologists, such as Freud, have sought to answer the many questions surrounding child development. Psychologist John Bowlby also studied the behaviors of infants and their parents and observed their various attachments. Known as the father of attachment theory, Bowlby observed that certain children exhibited certain attachment behaviors which could be used as a “Working model” to explain their later behaviors in life. At first Bowlby’s theory was scoffed at, but as more research was done and more experiments conducted, Bowlby’s working model began to show a trend in child attachments and their behaviors and future interactions. Since then, attachment theory has become more prominent and has been used by teachers, social workers, and psychologists to provide clues as to the reasons behind the behaviors interactions and relationships of children and adults. Attachment theory, mainly examined by psychologists John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, has become one of the most useful theories for studying child development and begins by discussing the attachment of the infant to the parent, and goes on to explain how this later effects an individual’s relationships to his or her own self and others. Attachment is used to describe various relationships, particularly parent-child relationships and romantic relationships, but in order to understand adult attachment it is necessary to first look at infant attachment. Attachment puts strong emphasis on how
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Attachment Behavior 3 relationships are caused by an affectionate link between two people and how this affection and attachment is expressed an observed, “Attachment involves physical contact, stability of relationship, and consistency in interaction” (Hendrick, 2004). In infants, before attachment can occur, they must first go through the stage of individuation. Before this stage attachment is not an issue, “The very young infant does not need to be attached, because it has not yet been detached” (Kaye, 1984). In individuation the child becomes more aware of the self and is able to separate themselves from what they are and what they are not. They are aware of where their hands are; they are aware of what sounds they are not making; they become aware that there is another that is not part of his or her self. The next stage is the attachment of the infant to the
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2011 for the course PSYCH 100A taught by Professor Marken during the Fall '07 term at UCLA.

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paper2 - Attachment Behavior 1 Attachment Behavior: Theory...

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