Presentation - Hodder Education

Developmental psychology
Social development:
An introduction to attachment
© Hodder & Stoughton 2013
Starter activity
Which of the 3 statements below reflects your view of relationships?
I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others. I find it difficult to trust
them completely, or to allow myself to depend on them. I am nervous when
anyone gets too close and often others want me to be more intimate than I feel
comfortable being.
I find it relatively easy to get close to others and am comfortable depending on
them and having them depend on me. I don’t worry about being abandoned or
about someone getting too close to me.
I find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry that
my boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t really love me or won’t want to stay with me. I
sometimes scare people away.
© Hodder & Stoughton 2013
Command words:
The language of the learning outcomes
• Examine attachment in childhood and its role in the
subsequent formation of relationships.
• Discuss potential effects of deprivation or trauma in
childhood on later development.
• Define resilience and discuss strategies to build
© Hodder & Stoughton 2013
What are attachments?
Attachments are close emotional bonds between two people
characterized by (Maccoby 1980):
• Distress on separation
• Joy at reunion
• Seeking proximity
• Orientation of behaviour towards the other.
Bowlby’s attachment theory emphasizes the importance of
attachments in later development/relationships.
It also provides much of the basis for interventions to build
© Hodder & Stoughton 2013
Bowlby’s attachment theory
• Attachment is based on instincts which aid survival. Babies possess
instincts (crying and smiling) which provoke caregiving and parents have
instincts to respond.
• Babies form an attachment to one person which is more important than
the rest (monotropy).
• This attachment should be formed before the age of 3 years or emotional
damage will result (sensitive period).
• This attachment provides the baby with an internal working model of
how relationships work which shapes later relationships.
• Disruption to the attachment may have serious emotional consequences.
© Hodder & Stoughton 2013
Hazan and Shaver
Readers of a local newspaper were asked to :
• Choose one of 3 descriptions that characterized their experience of
romantic relationships.
• Tick items from a checklist of adjectives to describe the relationship
with their parents.
• Answer questions about how long their adult relationships had
Hazan and Shaver analysed 630 responses and repeated the exercise
with 108 first year university students.
They found clear links between childhood attachments with parents
and later adult relationships.
© Hodder & Stoughton 2013
Centrality of Bowlby’s theory
• Building
• Research on
Support and
Importance of
attachment in
Disruption to
Individual and
differences in
• Research into
and privation
• Ainsworth's
© Hodder & Stoughton 2013