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Bonding and Attachment Theories

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Ryan Gorewicz

on 22 October 2015

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Transcript of Bonding and Attachment Theories

Harlow found the young monkeys would feed from bottle when hungry, but cuddled with fabric one for comfort or when frightened.
Bowlby & Separation
When children are between 8-36 mths, they go through 3 stages of separation.
Attachment Theory
: A close and affectionate bond between infant and caregiver.

The primary caregiver for the infant is most often the baby's mother.

Infants usually form just as strong an attachment in a different way to fathers if they are highly involved.
Harlow's Monkeys
1966, Harry Harlow studied rhesus monkeys to see what would happen if they were separated from their mothers at an early age.

He provided monkeys with a wire frame shaped like mother monkey, which held the "bottle." Also provided a second write frame "mother" in cloth, but with no bottle.
John Bowlby
Bonding and Attachment Theories
Bonding & Attachment
Infant attachment has been studied for some time.

In WW2, orphaned babies in hospitals turned their faces to the wall and died in spite of being fed and changed.

In cases where a nurse/carer actually lifted children out of cribs and held them (even for short periods of time), the infants did much better.

This became known as
failure to thrive
, and even small amounts of attention and holding improved outcome for these infants.
Monkeys who did not have cloth-covered mother failed to grow, even though food was available. This shows the importance of touch and contact for the survival and growth of infants.
1960s-70s, Bowlby studied actual children. He identified infants exhibit "
attachment behaviours
" that elicit responses from adults, which in turn, encourage these behaviours in a child.
Feedback circuit is established; proximity seeking, smiling, crying, clinging are examples of attachment behaviours, which in turn, get an adult response such as touching, holding, or soothing.
This interplay of attachment provides security infants need to move forward in development.
: Crying, protesting, searching for mom
: Child becomes very quiet
: Child withdraws as though cut off from world
Children securely attached are able to move beyond the detachment stage and become more active and interactive
When children go home after separation, they may be angry and resist parent, or be whiny and clingy.
Need to re-establish sense of security through attachment to the parent.
is another way to reclaim attachment (ie. bed-wetting, thumb-sucking, wanting bottle).
Recovery faster if child is touched, held or kept close after separation
Studied at U of T
Worked with Bowlby.
Infants need "secure base" to begin exploration
Infants cry, wail, glance directed at caregiver. Caregiver provides secure base for infant if able to:
detect infants signal
correctly interpret signal
make appropriate and timely response
Not possible to 'spoil' a child at early ages in terms of responding to their needs.
Different degrees in attachment among children. Not all children behave in same manner when parent returns after being away.
Secure infants
comfortable with parent; sometimes sought contact, stood nearby or smiled at them from across room
Anxious Avoidant
infants turned away from parent, or avoided touch.
Anxious Ambivalent

show resistance, anger, or hostility when parent returned
Thus, secure attachment is essential for healthy development.
Best way to foster attachment with infants is to respond consistently to their needs.

They then learn the world is a good place, and that someone is there who can be trusted to care for their needs.

Which theorist would this connect to?
Learning Goals
We will learn:

3 main approaches to A&B theories.

What environmental deprivation is.

How to meet an infant’s needs.

What contributes to a newborn's well-being?
Make a Deposit in Memory Bank!
How can your past affect your future?

Who is involved in making this happen?

Does early success lead to success later in life?
What do you think the results were?
Meeting a child's needs can set them up for success!

Long term consequences of maternal deprivation may be:

• delinquency,
• reduced intelligence,
• increased aggression,
• depression,
• affectionless psychopathy
Erik Erikson
Jean Piaget
Leta Stetter Hollingworth
Full transcript