Importance Of Attachment In Early Life

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The importance of attachment in early life cannot be emphasised enough. Over the last century or so this has been recognised as one of, if not the most significant stage of development in a human being’s life. With the aid of works from noted theorists such as Bowlby, Ainsworth, Harlow, and Main, this paper will focus on attachment and its many effects and influences from infancy to death and even carrying on through future generations. Attachment theory originated from the research of psychoanalyst John Bowlby. Bowlby spent time working as a psychiatrist in London in the 1930s where he worked with orphaned children. This period of time encouraged Bowlby to evaluate the importance of the child’s relationship with the mother. It helped form his belief about the connection between early infant separations with mothers and later issues with the child’s social, emotional and cognitive skills and ultimately led Bowlby to construct his attachment theory. Bowlby (2005) Bowlby observed that children experienced sharp anguish when separated from…show more content…
Harlow conducted a series of experiments in 1958 involving infant rhesus monkeys and a set of “surrogate mothers”. The set of surrogate mothers used were: 1) a wire model containing a bottle to feed the infant monkey and 2) a terry cloth model. The experiment showed that even though the infant monkeys could only receive food from the wire mother they spent the majority of time clinging to and seeking comfort from the terry cloth mother, especially when frightened or distressed. Suomi, Van der Horst, & Van der Veer, (2008). These experiments disproved the cupboard theory which suggested infants only had an attachment with the mother because she was a source of food. Because the infant monkeys had a stronger attachment to the terry cloth mother researchers concluded that attachment went deeper than just the need for

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