Attachments
Formed as Adults
Tamara Arrington
COM 252
John Bowlby & Mary Ainsworth
Bowbly & Ainsworth
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Bowlby was inspired by
two children
An affectionless child
without a stable mother
figure
An anxious child who
followed him around
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Ainsworth, M. & Bowlby, J. (1991).
An ethological approach to personality
development. American Psychologist, 46,
333-341.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~hedlund/bolain.html
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Ainsworth was
inspired by two
undergraduate
psychology courses at
Univ. of Toronto
Experimental
Research
Theory of Security
Bowlby & Ainswroth
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Bowlby and Ainsworth find evidence of the
adverse effects on development
attributable to a child’s lack of a mother
figure.
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Ainsworth, M. & Bowlby, J. (1991).
An ethological approach to personality development. American Psychologist, 46,
333-341.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~hedlund/bol-ain.html
Bowlby & Ainswroth
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1950-1954 Bowlby finds his theory:
Attachments are as important in life as
eating and sexual behavior, and are a
major component to human behavior. He
believes that separation anxiety occurs in
the absence of an attachment figure.
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Ainsworth, M. & Bowlby, J. (1991).
An ethological approach to personality development. American Psychologist, 46, 333-341.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~hedlund/bol-ain.html
Bowlby & Ainsworth
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1954-1963 Ainsworth studied mothers and
babies in several Uganda villages.
She discovered three different levels of
attachment.
 SECURELY ATTACHED
 INSECURELY ATTACHED
 NONATTACHED
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Ainsworth, M. & Bowlby, J. (1991).
An ethological approach to personality development. American Psychologist, 46, 333-341.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~hedlund/bol-ain.html
Bowlby &Ainsworth
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So, how do researchers know what kind of
attachments a particular child has?
The Strange Situation is a laboratory
procedure used to assess infant
attachment style. The procedure consists
of eight episodes:
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(Connell & goldsmith, 1982; ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978). IN
Attachment Theory – The “Strange Stiuation”
http://www.personalityresearch.org/attachment/strange.html
Bowlby & Ainsworth
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The Strange Situation
1.Parent and infant are introduced to the
experimental room
2. Parent and infant are alone. Parent does
not participate while infant explores.
3. Stranger enters, converses with parent,
then approaches infant. Parent leaves
inconspicuously.
Bowlby & Ainsworth
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The Strange Situation
4. First separation episode: Stranger’s
behavior is geared to the infant.
5. First reunion episode: Parent greets
and comforts infant, then leave again.
6. Second separation episode: Infant
is alone.
Bolby & Ainsworth
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7. Continuation of second separation
episode; Stranger enters and gears
behavior to the infant.
8. Second reunion episode: parent
enters, greets infant, and picks up
infant; stranger leaves inconspicuously.
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(Connell & Goldsmith, 1982; Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978). IN
Attachment Theory – The “Strange Stiuation”
http://www.personalityresearch.org/attachment/strange.html
Bowlby & Ainsworth
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The Strange Situation
The infants behavior upon the parent’s
return is the basis for classifying the infant
into one of three attachment categories.
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(Connell & Goldsmith, 1982; Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978). IN
Attachment Theory – The “Strange Stiuation”
http://www.personalityresearch.org/attachment/strange.html
Bowlby & Ainsworth
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The Strange Situation studies showed that
crying was a normal response by secure
children.
Secure: When the mother would then
pick the baby up, secure children would
stop crying, and then look forward to
explore.
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Great Ideas In Personality. “Three Types of Attachements.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~sengupta/attachment.html
Bowlby & Ainsworth
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Anxious/Ambivalent: The infants that
were anxious/ambivalents would
constantly cry, even after their mother
had comforted them.
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Great Ideas In Personality. “Three Types of Attachements.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~sengupta/attachment.html
Bowlby & Ainsworth
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Avoidants: The infants that fell into the
category of avoidants would not have any
emotional response when their mother
left, nor would they be affected when
their mother returned.
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Great Ideas In Personality. “Three Types of Attachements.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~sengupta/attachment.html
Attachment Theory
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Keep in mind that it was in 1957 that
Harry Harlow “began” his studies using
rhesus monkeys.
Bowlby & Ainsworth
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According to the Attachment Theory explained in the article entitled
An Ethological Approach to Personality Development by John
personality
development is based on the
interaction of the child and the
caregiver during infancy and early
childhood .
Bowlby & Mary Ainsworth,
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Ainsworth, M. & Bowlby, J. (1991).
An ethological approach to personality development. American Psychologist, 46,
333-341.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~hedlund/bol-ain.html
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Bowlby & Ainsworth
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Cont. from previous slide…
The theory takes into account reallife events concerning the
relationship between a child and his
or her mother
The following chart reference:
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Ainsworth, M. & Bowlby, J. (1991).
An ethological approach to personality development. American Psychologist, 46, 333-341.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~hedlund/bol-ain.html
Development of Security
Security
Development
Effect on
Personality
Immature
Dependent
Security
Develops during
infancy as result of
infant’s ability to rely
on a parent figure for
care
This type of security
gives the infant ability
to explore surrounding
world knowing that
they can retreat to the
parent
Independent
Security
Develops during childhood as the child
gradually learns skills
to cope
w/surroundings
As child matures, he or
she becomes fully
emancipated from his
or her parents
Mature
Dependent
Security
Develops during adulthood as one develops
ability to form mutually
contributing, give/take
relationships w/partner
of same generation
An adult can supply a
secure base to a
partner in a
relationship
Adult Attachments
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Secure: These are people who had a
loving childhood, and were well cared
for by their mothers. Secure people do
not avoid people, and at the same
time, do not feel the need to
constantly dependent on other people.
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Great Ideas In Personality. “Three Types of Attachements.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~sengupta/attachment.html
Adult Attachments
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Avoidants: These are people who
have been constantly denied any
physical contact by their mothers when
they were infants. Avoidants tend to
express behavior of detachment.
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Great Ideas In Personality. “Three Types of Attachements.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~sengupta/attachment.html
Adult Attachments
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Anxious/Ambivalent: These people
who as infants had mothers who were
slow and inconsistent to respond to their
cries. Anxious/Ambivalents tend to
express feelings of protest, and are very
distrustful of others.
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Great Ideas In Personality. “Three Types of Attachements.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~sengupta/attachment.html
Attachment Theory –Adult Love
62% ADULTS =SECURE
23% ADULTS= ANXIOUS/AMBIVALENT
15% ADULTS =AVOIDANT
Great Ideas In Personality. “Three Types of Attachements.
http://www.psych.nwu.edu/~sengupta/attachment.html
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Bowlby & Ainsworth