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Attachment Theory and Effects of Divorce on Children

SWK 325 Presentation

Jessica Liess

on 3 December 2012

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Transcript of Attachment Theory and Effects of Divorce on Children

Attachment Theory
& Divorce By: Jessica Liess Attachment Disorders Stresses on Familes that Can Cause Attachment
Disorders What is attachment theory? How does attachment &
divorce go together? -Attachment is really important
for a new born baby because
they need the interaction.
-When they are born, they have ready,
in-tact behavioral systems that are
ready to be activated through
-Brain size doubles in the first
few years, experiences are hardwired
which sets the foundation for their
future relationships. Attachment -Is a deep bond formed with their
primary caregiver.
-Build that bond by: touching,
cuddling, eye contact, listening,
facial expressions, etc. Attachment cont. Attachment in Children Secure -Comfortable with closeness & trust.
-Felt security.
-Vulnerability acceptable.
-Positive working model.
-Individuality/togetherness balanced. -Resists or ambivalent about closeness
& trust.
-Moderately controlling and insecure.
-Negative working model (moderate).
-Rejecting or clingy. Disorganized -Unable to trust & be close.
-Lacks remorse.
-Aggressive & punitive control.
-Negative working model (severe).
-Pseudo-independent. Non-attached -Unable to form emotional connections.
-Lacks conscience.
-Predatory behaviors.
-Negative working model (severe).
-Extreme narcissism. Parental/Family
Dysfunction -Difficulties in parenting may include: Parent/Child Relations -As the increase of divorce rises, the relationships between children and their parents become under attack.
-When a parent feels more stressed, they lack the sufficient energy, time, and patience to give to their children.
-Rules and roles become flexible in the family
and less defined to cope with the ever changing
family structure.
-Parents then have a fall out with the
child's extracurricular activities,
and have more disagreements. Parent/Child Relations
Cont. -The relationships between step-parents and
step-children is stressful as well.
-Reconstruction of family rules, morals, and values put both parents under pressure to make everything "fair" to everyone.
-Certain topics of parent roles may cause
issues, such as disciplining, negotiating, who
does household tasks, etc. Trust in Children -Trust is considered the foundation for all
human interaction.
-The degree to which trust is developed
determines the length and depth of future
-If children develop basic trust, they can
continue through their developmental
stages in a healthy manner. Developing Trust -On the contrary, if mistrust is
learned in the younger stages, the
subsequent developmental stages
are damaged.
-Mistrust is often the end result of
the broken or stretched bond
between the parent and child
because of divorce, abuse,
or neglect. Developing Mistrust Divorce -Children are NOT always able to overcome
difficulties associated with divorce between
their parents.
-Stretching or breaking the trust bond between the parents and their child can send the child back to the beginning of development and
instead show mistrust with people around them instead of trust.
-Indicators of low self-esteem, such as
shame, doubt, guilt, identity confusion,
and inferiority can cause emotional
disturbances and lead to
attachment disorder(s). Stages of Development
& Characteristics Erickson's Stages
of Development Infancy/Hope/Basic Trust vs. Mistrust Characteristics of
Children of Divorce Some thought and behavior problems that can follow children into adulthood are:

-Lack of trust.
-Unfocused anger.
-Unwillingness to be accountable.
-Low self-esteem.
-Learning by doing (instead of observing others
or being told how.)
-Failure to reason cause-and-effect relationships.
-Fear of abandonment.
-Behavior driven by value system. (Explained
on next bubble.) Results of Adjusted
Value System -Because of the fact that these behaviors are determined by their new, developed value system, it is hardly successful to modify the behaviors of these children and adults.
-Some people would rather take the drastic measure to die than to violate their value system.
-Even the system of rewards and punishments are doomed to fail to modify these thoughts
and behaviors. Value System Explanation -The dysfunction thought and actions are not "learned" from divorce happening, but instead
the traumatic experience changes the view of the world for the child.
-The children start to develop their own value system because they feel alone and often feel that they are the only one in their family.
-These new self-developed values help the child look out for himself or herself.
-Lying, cheating, stealing, and manipulation
usually develop in these value systems. Examples Case Study Sue was a pregnant 30-something yr. old, ready to divorce her husband of nine years. Attractive and intelligent, she had no confidence in either her looks or acumen. Living in fear of abandonment, she said "I'm not wondering if my husband will leave me; I just want to be certain I'm ready when he does." Disagreements immediately put her on the attack, and she demanded an instant resolution to problems. If he wanted some time to think about the problem, she would interpret that as his not caring about her or the relationship. She was very spontaneous, to the point of being irresponsible, but she had no realization in the moment that her actions were the cause of the problem. References Rhodes, J. L. (2000). The impact of divorce across the developmental stages. -Theory of attachment between
the children and their
-Specifically paying attention to
the behaviors and emotions the
children portray towards
familiar adults. This is the
best attachment
style!! Anxious Some say
this is the worst! Unoccupied parental role, (usually through
death, illness, imprisonment, mental illness,
or abandonment.) Parental incapacity due to illness, ignorance, emotional immaturity, mental retardation, or substance abuse. Role rejection, when a parent chooses to neglect, abandon, or abuse the child. Inter-role conflict when there is a conflict in the family about who fulfills what role. Transition issues when a family is trying to
cope with some type of transition, either developmental or environment. ...and the list can continue. Let us take a look! No Trust Trust Trust Trust Trust Early Childhood/Will/Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt Play Age/Purpose/Initiative vs. Guilt School Age/Competence/Industry vs. Inferiority Adolescence/Fidelity/Identity vs. Identity Confusion Young Adulthood/Love/Intimacy vs. Isolation Adulthood/Care/Generativity vs. Stagnation Old Age/Wisdom/Integrity vs. Despair & Disgust When children go through
a divorce, they may fail to
develop in one or more
of these developmental stages. Crosson-Tower, C. (2013). Exploring child welfare. (6th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc. Wikipedia. (n.d.). Attachment theory. Retrieved from http:www//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory The End.
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