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Attachment Theory & Parenting Styles

A brief introduction

Liane Thakur

on 14 January 2013

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Transcript of Attachment Theory & Parenting Styles

Attachment Theory & Parenting Styles ...to raise a child. It takes a village. These are also known as "primary attachment figures". The first who seriously studied the Attachment
Theory was a man called John Bowlby. Through extensive clinical work with children and cooperation with the World Health Organisation he concluded that for good mental health of a child "a warm, intimate and continuous relationship with his mother" (Geddes, pg.37) is crucial. Other attachment figures can help make up for what's missing in this relationship, but mothers, in particular & in the beginning, are the key to a happy and mentally healthy child. The attachment theory is at the core of some of the biggest campaigns for early child care. The Sure Start campaign in the UK. ...the Head Start movement in the States... ...the "Triple P - Positive Parenting Programme"
in Australia... And UNICEF Croatia's
"Prve tri su najvažnije"/"The first three are the most important" campaign. The Attachment basics As dangerous as humans can be when they grow up,
when we are born we are helpless and in order to venture into the world we need support. This support is called a "secure base" - it is the relationship with a person who provides with us with food, warmth and protection, but also something called "containment". Containment is the process of "transforming fear into thinkable thoughts", or to put it more clearly: The attachment figure needs to recognize what the baby is feeling and help the baby understand it. This is done through words, gestures and facial expressions. Most mothers respond to their children well-enough: if the child is anxious about something, most mothers will responds to the anxiety in an understanding way and thus alleviate it. This makes a crude sketch
of how a secure attachment
pattern is developed. Unfortunately, not all mothers can and/or try to understand their infants, which leads to insecure attachment patterns. You will now see a video of how attachment patterns are assessed through "The Strange Situation Procedure". References:
"Dealing with difficult learners" (2008) Marie Delaney. Worth Publishing.
"The Nature of Love." (1958) Harlow, Harry. American Psychologist, 13, 673-685.
"Attachment in the classroom" (2005) Dr Heather Geddes. Worth Publishing One of the people to study attachment in more recent years was Harry Harlow who did a study with monkeys.
Harlow’s most famous experiment involved giving young rhesus monkeys a choice between two different "mothers." One was made of soft terrycloth, but provided no food. The other was made of wire, but provided food from an attached baby bottle.

Harlow removed young monkeys from their natural mothers a few hours after birth and left them to be "raised" by these mother surrogates. The experiment demonstrated that the baby monkeys spent significantly more time with their cloth mother than with their wire mother. (Harlow, 1958). Mary Ainsworth, a student of Bowlby, came up with
a few ideas on how attachment works. Ainsworth developed 4 stages of attachment: 1: Pre-attachment phase - birth to 6 weeks
2. Attachment in the making - 6 weeks to 6/8 months
3. Clear attachment - 6/8 months to about 2 years
4. Formation of reciprocal relationship - from about 2 years onward Ainsworth 4 types of attachment:
1. Anxious-Avoidant: 15% of infants
2. Securely Attached: 60% of infants
3. Anxious-Resistant:10% of infants
4. Disorganize/Disoriented: 15% of infants You will now see a video illustrating the Avoidant and Ambivalent Attachment Patterns through The Strange Situation Procedure. The Secure Base is the end result of a baby moving healthily through the attachment stages Children who are securely attached tend to be happier as adults. But some people are more important than others. Activity: Get together in your small groups & discuss the following -
What do you think is the outcome as adults for the children raised by the four types of attachment? Parenting Styles and their effects on kids Diana Baumrind conducted a study on more than 100 preschool-age children to study
parenting styles Baumrind identified four important dimensions of parenting:
-Disciplinary strategies
-Warmth and nurturance
-Communication styles
-Expectations of maturity and control 4 Parenting Styles: In your groups, discuss the following:
How do you think students who have those
four types of parents would do in these areas?
- social
- emotional
- discipline
- school work •Authoritarian parenting styles generally lead to children who are obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem.

•Authoritative parenting styles tend to result in children who are happy, capable and successful (Maccoby, 1992). •Permissive parenting often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school.

•Uninvolved parenting styles rank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers. References
Baumrind, D. (1967). Child-care practices anteceding three patterns of preschool behavior. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 75, 43-88.
Baumrind, D. (1991). The influence of parenting style on adolescent competence and substance use. Journal of Early Adolescence, 11(1), 56-95.
Maccoby, E. E., & Martin, J. A. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent–child interaction. In P. H. Mussen & E. M. Hetherington, Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 4. Socialization, personality, and social development (4th ed.). New York: Wiley.
Maccoby, E.E. (1992). The role of parents in the socialization of children: An historical overview. Developmental Psychology, 28, 1006-1017.
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