The Correlation Of Attachment With Developmental Theory

Attachment theory has been an interesting topic in psychology and has an important role in the lifespan development. This theory has been examined by multiple psychologists and each have contributed in order to make this understood to others. This theory has been studied in order to determine why children’s behaviors are the way they are. The question here is, how is attachment correlated with the development theories and an individuals’ development as they grow? Many studies have been made in order to indicate how attachment is identified and a procedure has been made. Attachment can additionally be incorporated with the development of an individual in how they evolve as a person to themselves and to others. This will be shown throughout the paper. In order to get all the information needed to develop a well answer to the question above, approximately six articles were reviewed to answer how humans become the person they are or what effects them to be who they are.

John Bowlby is known to be the founder of attachment theory while Mary Ainsworth is known as cofounder. The partnership between the two psychologists has been remarkable due to the research they both have discovered and the history they have made. Bowlby (1991) became interested in the of attachment while he was doing volunteer work. During this time, his attention was drawn by the behaviors of the children as he would assist. Both intellectual individuals had their one knowledge of how an early relationship must be made as an infant. Ainsworth (1991) became fascinated in this subject when taking courses in the university she was studying. Research and the understanding of personality development through Blatz caught her attention and started following that route (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991). According to Ainsworth (1991), during the experimental procedure in mothers and infants, she discovered how children react differently with their caregivers. This experimental procedure is known as “strange situation” according to Ainsworth (1991). This procedure was done in order to examine the behavior of toddlers in a room with the mother and a stranger. The infant and mother were separated, and the behavior of the kid was recorded. They were reunited and the behaviors were also recorded. The differences were taken into consideration and attachment styles were develop depending on the reactions towards the mother once being reunited. Secure, insecure avoidant, and insecure ambivalent were the styles found. These styles will be described with detail in the later sections.

In this section, selected development theories will be compared to the theory of attachment in order to understand how they contribute with one another. Psychoanalytic theory is defined as the study of how the personality is developed by the mind and emotions. This theory helps understand how the less affection received as an infant or toddler can convert into physical effect, such as mental disorders or other health issues. Sroufe, (1986) mentions how Bowlby’s work is clearly associated with the psychoanalytic theory and how he builds upon this theory. It is mentioned how the quality of attention received from the secure base is very effective (Sroufe, 1986). This theory can help understand how disorders come to be, such as depression or any other mental ailment. An example shown is how holding the self from mourning a parent death or not giving themselves enough time can be pathological (Sroufe, 1986). If a person is in denial and does not grieve how they should, the feelings being held back can cause their own mental and physical health. Grieving the person who was your secure base is hard but must be done in order to continue with a healthy lifestyle. Fonagy (1999) mentioned that the development of someone’s personality and relationships in their social environments is involved in the psychoanalysis theory and attachment theory.

Another theory in which attachment was influenced by is the ethological theory. Although ethology is the study of behavior in animals, it somehow relates to human beings. Both mammals and humans have a similarity in the response with the mother or caregiver. Additionally, this theory is tied with evolution, meaning, the changes throughout. the generations is done so that survival of the fittest takes priority. In this theory, it is believed that attachment is very crucial as infant. This is believed due to an experiment done by Konrad Lorenz. Lorenz (2019, p 26) decided to view the behaviors of newborn grey geese. He wanted to know how they would react when hatched with a different person. Some eggs were left with the mother to hatch. Once they hatched, the babies followed the mother everywhere she would go. They had imprinted onto the mother the instant they had hatched. The imprinting also occurred to Lorenz with the eggs he was nurturing. As previously mentioned, since Lorenz was the first thing they viewed, the little chicks followed him everywhere as if he was the caregiver. This experiment was done in order to prove how attachment mammals and humans need the attention to feel secure. Due to this experiment, in imprinting, Bowlby (1991) found how animals’ reactions towards separation and reunions were also similar to humans. The ethology theory helped him go into the study of biology in evolution to see how attachment is being linked. 

Now that the theories have been explained, the effects of attention given to the child by the caregiver will be discussed within the different attachment styles associated with the “strange situation”. The attachment given by the caregivers is the steppingstone into the formation of relationships in which they will be able to build upon others. Additionally, depending on what style the parents came from, can cause the type of children they will nurture (Hong & Park, 2012). The first attachment that will be discussed will be the secure based. This is reached when a level of security between the mother and infant is made. This style is the most stable and most productive in the development of a child. The infant soon comprehends that the caregiver will be there to soothe them in any kind of situation. They start to understand how the mother will respond to them. When the child understands this, the mother or caregiver will be their so called “safe haven” (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991). If a kid is being shown care and affection as a part of attachment, it is highly likely they will develop confidence in themselves (Van Rosmalen et al., 2015). Positive outcomes arise from this secure attachment. If the secure based is reach with the mother, this will later help the child have the courage to not be afraid of the world (Honk & Parks, 2012). By learning through their own parental styles, they will grow socially likable and caring (Sroufe, 1986). An example can be a toddler going to a park with the mother. Since the mother has shown her kindness to them, they will have that mentality of how everyone may also be like that. Secure based children are very optimistic and learn to deal with distress in a properly manner (Mikulincer, Shaver, & Pereg, 2003). Children who have a secure base attachment style are mainly raised by authoritative parental styles. In this type of parental style, the infant learns how to cope in a peaceful manner. Nonetheless, this attachment is open to relationships and seeks help when needed instead of trying to figure it out on their own.

There are two types of insecure attachment styles, insecure avoidant and insecure ambivalent. In both of these attachment styles, the caregiver does not give the infant the attention needed in order to form a bond between them. This lack of connection can affect the individual’s behavior, way of thinking of themselves, disorders, or any type of social skill needed in order to succeed. These groups veer to have more adverse involvements about life or love causing the relationships to last a small amount of time. Undesirable results are usually what derives from these specific styles. Insecure avoidant is clearly described as it is named. Parents who ignores their infants make them have an insecure relationship with each other. The child will seek the mother’s attention due to the lack of it by creating tantrums or any type of attention maker (Honk & Park, 2012). Usually kids will scream and cry when there is no reason to. As newborns, the attention from the caregiver is strictly important because they sense of being wanted. Infants can suffer health issues since they are not being reassured that they will be okay. This is necessary to know so that it can be prevented for future references. This attachment also effects development by giving the child a bad self-image. Since the parents payed very little attention, they will feel as if they are not significant and doubt their own self-worth. The negatively thinking can lead to depression or any other mental disorders. The self-confidence is not built as in the secure style. In this case, they grow up doubting themselves and also becoming antisocial. Their emotions are enhanced and have trouble maintaining them (Sloman et al., 2002). Children will also have trouble of managing stressful situation. For example, when stress is reached, going out or exploring to clear the mind is needed ,yet they do not do such thing (Mikulincer et al., 2003). Those who were raised in the insecure avoidant will usually avoid attachment towards people as they grow up because that is what they have been adapted to. Self-indolence is important to them and will try to stay and manage on their own without depending on anyone. On the contrary, in certain times, this can be changed but it all depends on the individual’s mindsets. Some individuals do take the failure as motivation to become a better person and not be as the dismissive parents they were raised by (Sloman et al., 2002). They want to get out of that bad place in which they used to be.

Since the insecure ambivalent style does not reach a secure base with the caregiver, the child will grow anxiously and will also seek in the future for someone to rely in as a secure base. Relationship like these are built through parents who are too preoccupied with other things rather than paying attention to the infant. base. An example of this could be parents who work for a large amount of time and do not have the time to care for their own child. Since the caregiver is not there with the kid, the child will have no way of determining how to communicate with the mother or how to respond (Sloman et al., 2002). Children who fall under the insecure ambivalent are mainly confused on how they should act since the caregiver did not reassure them in any way. Furthermore, individuals who tend to fall under this category also seem to exaggerate the outcome of bad circumstances. They easily prepared for the worst when in reality it should not be like that. Preparing for failure can lead to low self-confidence. While the children in this style are anxious, as they grow older, they will be anxiously seeking to find that sense of security when looking for a relationship. Pursuing a secure-base sounds about right however, this is done in a negatively ways rather than letting it happen. Anxiously raised children tend to become

Attachment during infancy does play a role in the development of a child even though it may seem like an odd indication. Through this practice, children develop their self-image by the caregivers or other people who respond to them (Hong & Parks, 2012). Although it may seem quite weird, it is important to build the bond between the mother and infant. Moreover, the theories of development let us know the importance of the attachment or how it came to be. More research must be done in order to get a better understanding and a better way in determining how to characterize infants. Nonetheless, in lifespan development, a person will be shaped through their environmental surroundings. A child must get the attention needed in order to withstand a secure base through the first year in life, in order to become a successful individual in the future.

16 December 2021
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