The quality of a child’s first attachment is crucial because this template will powerfully affect the nature of their future relationships (the internal working model). To learn more about the Internal Working Model as proposed by John Bowlby.
The Maternal Deprivation Theory was developed by John Bowlby (1951) and focuses on how the effects of early experiences may interfere with the usual process of attachment formation. Bowlby proposed that separation from the mother or mother-substitute has a serious effect on psychological development. Bowlby famously said that ‘mother-infant love in infancy and childhood is more important for mental health as are vitamins and proteins for physical health.’ Being separated from a mother in early childhood can have serious consequences according to Bowlby.
Cross-Cultural Variations in Attachment Definition: The ways members of a society/culture vary in terms of their social practices (child-rearing). These variations, in turn, can effect infant development and behaviour. This can lead to cultural differences in attachment type.
Secure and insecure attachments are examples of a particular type of style of attachment bond that may be established between any two individuals (usually the mother and infant).
There are two main explanations of infant attachment; The Learning Theory of Attachment, and the Evolutionary Theory of Attachment.
The Evolutionary Theory of Attachment as put forward by John Bowlby which focus on the biological processes in the formation of infant and primary caregiver attachments.
There are two main explanations of attachment formation; the Learning Theory of attachment which states that all attachments are learned and, the Evolutionary Explanation of Attachment which states that all attachments are formed on the basis of a genetic, innate process.
Lorenz, animal studies of attachment: Lorenz’s research investigates the Evolutionary Explanation of attachment suggesting that infants are pre-programmed to form an attachment from the second that they are born. The findings from Lorenz’s research (as outlined below) offers support for the idea that infants have an attachment gene and that they imprint on a caregiver not long after birth.
One of the most important questions attachment research has to answer concerns over who infants become attached to. What is the role of the Father? What are the multiple attachments that infants form and why are these attachments important?
Even though the time after birth is a very special, important time for parents to bond with their new baby, the overall process of the formation of attachments takes longer in human infants, and it is around 7 to 8 months before babies how their real first attachments. Schaffer and Emerson identified that infants go through a number of stages of attachment.
Attachment is a two-way, enduring, emotional tie between two people (usually and infant and their primary caregiver). An attachment is usually shown in the behaviour between two people. An attachment between an infant and primary caregiver is usually reciprocal (responding to the action of another with a similar action). This attachment (tie) usually develops in set stages within a fairly set timescale.