Summary of Bowlby’s attachment theory (1944)
According to John Bowlby (1907-1990), attachment is the emotional bond between two people. It is determined by the early mother-child relationship. Attachments with different person were placed in a hierarchy where mother is at top. This attachment is an innate behaviour right from birth which emerges through cry and caregivers reaction to it. Attachment is determined by love and care rather than food as proposed by Freud through drive reduction theory (McLeod, 2007). Child has innate biological need to stay close to the mother. Also the behaviour like fear of strangers is important for the survival of species. Bowlby also spoke about the maternal deprivation and long term…show more content… The concept of early attachment makes sense as the brain growth is rapid in infancy period.
Bowlby attachment theory emphasised only on attachment towards caregiver- mother (Monotropy). Attachment towards father, siblings, grandparents and peers are unaddressed (Weisner & Gallimore, 1977).
This theory suggests parents not to work till the child moves to school which is practically impossible everywhere.
This theory emphasised on the innate attachment pattern and early nurturing process. Later changes in environment influencing behaviours are unaddressed.
Parents are mostly blamed for the misbehaviour of the child but other factors like peers, community, environment, role of media also plays role in children’s misbehaviour.
Correlation exists between attachment style and future psychosocial problems. But there is no causal relationship. This theory lacks internal validity. In the study of 44 thieves, orphans too, there can be the role of extraneous variable than just mother-child deprivation…show more content… Single situation alone can’t measure the attachment style between the child and caretaker. Also there exists individual difference in the expression of attachment by a child (Rutter, 1972)
It has not considered the role of birth order in the styles of attachment pattern. For.eg, 1st born usually experiences more insecurity than last born.
Utility in 21st century
Prevention and treatment of Personality disorders which has the influence of others, like narcissism, antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder (Bateman & Fonagy, 2004; Liotti, 2005) can be predicted through the early attachment styles.
Changes in Hospital policy where the visiting hours of mother is increased to improve the mother-child attachment and promote their wellbeing (Goldberg)
Increased use of foster care placement to reduce institutions for orphans and promote wellness (Goldberg)
Using attachment theory, workshops can be conducted for mother to improve mother-child attachment which would help them in attaining future health relationship patterns.