Attachment Theory: Individual Differences

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Attachment theory is a phenomenon that postulates how infants will form affective ties with a caregiver (wenfield) depending on whether the caregiver meets the physiological needs of the child (Cassidy). According to (Cassidy) infants begin attachment at birth where the bond between mother and child start. The two major hypotheses that Bowlby proposed in regards to the individual differences in attachment styles and the significance of those styles are 1) the antecedents of individual different in attachment styles and 2) the developmental consequences of those individual differences from early attachment relationships, particularly in personality development (Weinfield). There are 3 forms of attachment: secure, avoidance, resistant, with…show more content…
It mainly researched that attachment differences were due to the different experiences and expectations an infant had depending on the availability of the caregivers (Weinfield). Attachment was assessed by how an infant organized attachment behaviors in order to balance out the need for comfort and protection and the “desire to explore the environment.” Before the “Strange Situation” experiment, researchers observed an infant’s behavior at home. By doing so, researchers were able to note the history and care of the parent and child’s relationship before having the infant go to the laboratory. Researchers noted that infants who would later be categorized as anxiously attached – both avoidant and resistant – had mothers who had expressed aversion physical contact with their infants as well as expressing little emotion during interactions. Furthermore, these infants were angrier, noncompliant toward the mother and cried more at home than securely attached infants. This prediction that there are different attachments styles depends on the history of interactions between the caregiver and the infant at home even before the infant perceives a threatening situation. This theory offers insight into parenting that the relationship between the emotions and contact between caregiver and infant can imprint the infant with an attachment that follows the infant from home to unfamiliar environments. Theory also offers insight to potential reason why infants may cry and misbehave more so than

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