Bowlby’s Attachment Theory Bowlby’s Attachment Theory Brittany Meier English 025 Dr. Julie Bilz November 19, 2014 Bowlby’s Attachment Theory Brittany Meier Julie Bliz English 025 Bowlby’s Attachment Theory Attachment is defined as “the strong affectionate tie we have for special people in our lives that leads us to experience pleasure and joy when we interact with them and to be comforted by their nearness in times of stress” (Berk 2012 p. 264). Babies tend to be attached to their primary caregiver which in most cases is their mother. The Attachment Theory was developed by John Bowlby who drew from concepts from ethology, cybernetics, information processing, developmental psychology, and psychoanalysts (Bretherton 1992). Bowlby’s main idea behind the Attachment Theory is that babies and toddlers need that connection to at least one adult in order to survive. Bowlby believed that are four basic characteristics of attachment that include a safe heaven, a secure base, proximity maintenance and separation distress (Sincero 2012). Attachment develops in four stages, pre-attachment phase, attachment in the making, clear-cut attachment, and formation of reciprocal relationship (Berk p. 265). Pre-attachment phase happens at birth through six weeks old when a baby cries, smiles, grasps for things they are giving signals to their caregiver that they need or want comfort. They are not attached to anybody at this age even though they can tell the sound of their mother and fathers voice they don’t mind be left with an unfamiliar person. Attachment in the making phase happens around the age of six weeks to six to eight months, at this age they get excited when their primary caregiver walks into sight then if it were a stranger. Babies at this age are starting to get a sense Bowlby’s Attachment Theory of trust, that if they cry their caregiver will tend to them but they still don’t mind be separated. Clear-cut attachment phase happens around the age of six to eight months to eighteen months to two years. At this age when separated from their primary caregiver the infant knows and shows signs of separation anxiety. Babies become upset when the caregiver leaves, not all babies tend to do this at this age it sometimes depends on the baby. Besides getting upset when the caregiver leaves older infants the twenty month to two year olds will follow the caregiver around to make sure that they are not leaving even go to as far as wanted to be held and not let down. The child at this age tends not to explore as much because they want to keep the caregiver in their sights. The final phase formation of reciprocal relationship phase happens at eighteen months to twop years and on. At this age the child understand more why the caregiver needs to leave and that they will return but they still protest and try to persuade them from leaving. They might make the caregiver feel guilty or ask a million question to spend more time with the caregiver before they leave. Berk (2012) says “According to Bowlby (1980), out of their experiences during the four phases, children construct an enduring affectionate tie to the caregiver that they can use a secure base in the parent’s absence” (Berk p. 266). By developing these phases it serves as a guide to future healthy relationships. Bowlby’s first attachment study was presented to the British Psychoanalytic Society in the form of three papers, “The Nature of the Child’s tie to His Mother” (1958), “Separation Anxiety” (1959), and “Grief and Mourning in Infancy and Early Childhood” (1960) (Bretherton 1992). The first paper proposed that one to two month olds attachment behavior is made up of many instinctual responses that bind the infant to the mother and vice and versa. Things like sucking, clinging, following and the infant smiling or crying became more evident the older the infant got. Bowlby thought clinging and following were the most important to determine whether Bowlby’s Attachment Theory or not the Attachment Theory was present. The second paper Bowlby claims that the “Traditional Theory can explain neither the intense attachment of infants and young children to a mother figure nor the dramatic responses to separation” (Bretherton). When an infant or child is separated from their caregiver there are clear signs that they suffer from separation anxiety Bowlby says that this is a clear sign of Attachment Theory. The third paper which was the most controversial one, Bowlby questioned Anna Frued’s theory that infants can’t mourn and just suffer brief moments of separation anxiety (Bretherton 1992). But Bowlby explains that the grief and mourning process happen when the infant or an adult is separated from the one they love or care for deeply and this person becomes unavailable continuously. In conclusion we learned that John Bowlby thought that attachment developed in four stages, pre-attachment phase, attachment in the making, clear-cut attachment, and formation of reciprocal relationship. John Bowlby has done many studies to go with his findings and has wrote many papers on his findings. Even though some people didn’t agree with Bowlby his theory is still widely known by other theorist. Bowlby’s Attachment Theory References Berk, L. (2012). Emotional and Social Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood. In Infants, Children and Adolescents (Seventh ed., p. 264 and 266). New York: Pearson. Bretherton, I. (1992, January 1). The Origins of Attachment Theory: John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Retrieved November 1, 2014, from http://www.psychology.sunysb.edu/attachment/online/inge_origins.pdf Sincero, S. (May 17, 2012). Bowlby Attachment Theory. Retrieved November from Explore.com: http://explore.com/bowlby-attachment-theory Bowlby’s Attachment Theory Peer Review by Jake Stevenson Does the thesis present the main point of the paper? How could it be improved? I feel as if your thesis is very strong. You have done a great job with this portion. Does the introductory paragraph contain the thesis and catch the reader's attention? Your introduction is very good. I would not change anything about it. Does the concluding paragraph wrap up the paper in a logical manner? You have a good conclusion; I would add a few more details to it though. Does the paper show the author's personality? I feel as if your paper shows personality. Are specific examples used to support points made in the essay? If yes, cite one example. If no, cite one place where the author could use a concrete detail to make his/her point stronger. Berk (2012) says “According to Bowlby (1980), out of their experiences during the four phases, children construct an enduring affectionate tie to the caregiver that they can use a secure base in the parent’s absence” (Berk p. 266). Are wording and ideas fresh and interesting? How could it be improved? Correct any spelling, punctuation, grammar etc... Name three things you liked about the paper. ) Give three comments or suggestions to improve the paper. One of the few things that I would change is that on your first page, in your header, you need the words RUNNING HEAD:. I would take out your name on the second page. You should consider an abstract as well, but I am not sure that it is required.