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Does Attachment Theory Provide a Sound Basis for Advice on How to Brin

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Does the attachment theory provide a sound basis for advice on how to bring up children? To answer this question for advice to parents I will explore some of the details of the attachment theory showing, 1) earlier studies and more up to date criticisms, 2) how it proposes family members and day care can affect a child's upbringing.

Attachment is the bond that develops between caregiver and infant when it is about eight or nine months old, providing the child with emotional security. Meshing commences from when the child is being fed, onto taking part in pseudo-dialogue and then following on to the child taking part in a more active role of proto dialogue, illustrated by Kaye (1982), other concepts such as scaffolding and inter-subjectivity have also been explored by psychologists. As the infant grows older the attention escalates towards the direction of the caregiver.

John Bowlby(1958, 1969, 1973, 1980) pioneer of the attachment theory was involved in research regarding the emotional connection between the adult and infant and he believed that the early relationships determined the behaviour and emotional development of a child. In an early Bowlby (1944) study he discovered children who had an unsettling upbringing where more likely to become juvenile delinquents. His work is constantly open to criticism and has been revisited with further research. Subsequent research has based measuring security and insecurity in a child from an early age using the Strange Situation Test. Other research has shown certain trends of difficult behaviour and how the child interacts with the caregiver actively.

Bowlby's theory was based on ideas from ethology and previous work, psychodynamic theory by Sigmund Freud, it was appropriate for the 1950's after the 2nd World War when women were returning to household duties and motherhood as men returned to their employment after the war. He believed that a child should have interaction with one caregiver 'monotropism' and that separation from this person would trigger the 'proximity promoting behaviours' in the attachment structure.

The caregiver arriving would cause the behaviours of, clinging, making noises and crying to discontinue. The protected foundations of the affectionate bonds occurring between parent and infant representation becomes part of the internal working model. Those become the foundations and the heart of all close relationships during the continuing life of the child through to adulthood. The disruption of the relationship between mother and child through parting, lack of emotion and bereavement to the bonding process.

Bowlby's maternal deprivation theory (1951,1953)was enthused by the Konrad Lorenz's(1966 ) imprinting study on young animals. He believed that like imprininting one permanent figure should be the caregiver and children deprived of those maternal links could be disastrous to the child's mental health and could lead

to delinquency. His views on long term institutional care were that if a child was fostered before the age of 2yrs and six months it may not be delayed in emotional, social and cognitive development but some of his studies show that there have been various forms of parting in youths with severe behavioural problems

Attachment behaviour according to Mary Ainsworth (1985; Ainsworth and Bell, 1974; Ainsworth et al., 1978) forms the groundings for all potential associations and this develops up to two years after the child is born. She also harmonized with Bowlby on the view that the attachment bonding occurred within the age of two years old. Approximately when the child is seven months old they become wary of strangers and unknown surroundings. This continue until the child is about two years old. The procedure Ainsworth (1969) investigated to measure if a child was securely or insecurely attached was the 'strange situation paradigm'. This entailed a sequence of short partings and reunions. The child's parent and a stranger took part in the study with a one year old child, there were eight sequences in all and Ainsworth's measurement on secure and insecure attachment was based on the reunion episode of how the child reacted in this situation.This was judged using four different variables. It was found that there were three diverse distinct patterns of adjustment. Type A: anxious/ avoidant, type B: secure and type C: anxious/ ambivalent. Most of the children displayed secure attachment, one fifth of the sample showed type A and one tenth showed type C. Main and Solomon (1990) have introduced a further pattern type D: disorganized in a more recent study to relate to behaviour for a child in a high risk environment. The 'strange situation paradigm', has been criticized

by Judy Dunn (1982, 1983), as she believes that children from different backgrounds, e.g. institutional care and living with their own families may apply different meanings to the test and environment of the child. The technique and the results of the experiment also are doubted by her. Another study by Richman (1982) et al has shown that various risk factors of disturbed behaviour can be determined from when a child is 3 years old. Some of the factors that can influence a child's emotional development are a mother's mental state, marital relationships and the attitudes of the parents towards the child. The active role of the child must also be taken into consideration when assessing advice on how to bring up children as displayed in the transactional model, Sameroff (1991), as the child is interacting with their surroundings, while the caregiver is developing the child's behaviour and future relationships.

The view of Ainsworth and Bowlby both agreeing that attachment is universal could be argued as different cultures have varying degrees of how long a child should be left alone, as the Japanese, Israeli and Chinese results show for type C, in the cross-cultural study by Marinus van Ijzendoorn and Peter Kroonenberg (1988). There also could be possible problems with the ethological view of comparing children to young animals as they could be driven by a food instinct. Bowlby only considered the effect of the child by the caregiver; other variables could be brought into affect such as the infant's temperament. A mother who gives birth to a child with a thorny temperament could opt to go to work and leave the child in day care; this could also have the opposite affect on the mother not being able to leave the child with any

others. The toleration of the mother and the view of the goodness of fit, Chess and Thomas (1984) could have an impact on behaviour and a reflection on the attachment bonding of the mother and child. Bowbly and Ainsworth were also united in the development of secure attachment depending

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