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Attachment by Mind Map: Attachment

1. Caregiver-Infant Interactions

1.1. Interactional Synchrony

1.1.1. When two people interact they tend to mirror what the other is doing in terms of their facial and body movements. This includes imitating emotions as well as behaviours, this is described as synchrony - when two (or more) things move in the same pattern.

1.2. Reciprocity

1.2.1. Responding to the action of another with a similar action, where the actions of one partner elicit a response from the other. The responses are not necessarily similar as in interactional synchrony.

2. Stages of Attachment

2.1. Stage 1: Indescriminate Attachments

2.1.1. From birth until the infant is about 2 months old, the infant produces the same response to all objects, whether they are inanimate or animate. Although towards the end of this period they start to show a preference towards social stimuli

2.2. Stage 2: the beginings of attachment

2.2.1. Around the age of 4 months the infant becomes more social. They prefer human company and can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar people. However, they are still relatively easily comforted by anyone, and do not show stranger anxiety.

2.3. Stage 3: Discriminate Attachment

2.3.1. By 7 months old most infants begin to show a distinctly different sort of protest when one particular person puts them down (separation anxiety). Equally, they show especial joy at reunion with said person and are most comforted by this person. They have formed a distinct attachment with their primary caregiver.

2.3.2. At 7 months infants also begin to show stranger anxiety, this is also a sign of a specific attachment being formed.

2.4. Stage 4: Multiple Attachments

2.4.1. Very soon after the main attachment is formed, the infant also develops a wider circle of multiple attachments depending on how many consistent relationships they have.

3. Animal Studies

3.1. Lorenz (1935)

3.1.1. Procedure

3.1.1.1. Lorenz took a clutch of Gosling eggs and incubated half and left half with their natural mother. When the incubated eggs hatched the first thing they saw was Lorenz, the other half saw their natural mother first.

3.1.2. Findings

3.1.2.1. The goslings imprinted on the first living thing they saw which was either Lorenz or their natural mother, they then started following them around - this is called imprinting. Lorenz found the critical period was 2 days and imprinting did not happen after. Long-lasting effects showed that imprinting is irreversible and related to mate choice (sexual imprinting)

3.2. Harlow (1959)

3.2.1. Procedure

3.2.1.1. Harlow used baby rhesus monkeys, they were given two wire 'mothers', one of them was cloth covered. Four of the monkeys had the bottle attached the cloth covered 'mother' and the other four had the bottle attached to the other 'mother'.

3.2.2. Findings

3.2.2.1. The infant monkeys all spent most of their time with the cloth covered 'mother' whether it had the bottle or not. This shows that infants do not develop attachment to the person that feeds them but rather the person that comforts them. Harlow found the critical period was 6 months and attachments must be formed before then. Long-lasting effects showed that all motherless monkeys were abnormal socially and sexually.

4. Learning Theory of Attachment

4.1. Learning theory proposes that all behaviour is learned rather than inborn, this concentrates solely on behaviour.

4.2. Classical Conditioning

4.2.1. New conditioned response is learned through association between a neutral stimulus (mother) and an unconditioned stimulus (food)

4.3. Operant Conditioning

4.3.1. The reduction of discomfort created by hunger is rewarding so food becomes a primary reinforcer, this is then associated with the mother who becomes secondary reinforcer.

4.4. Social Learning Theory

4.4.1. Children model parents attachment behaviours, e.g. affection.

5. Bowlby's Theory of Attchament

5.1. Monotropic Attachment Theory (1969)

5.1.1. Why Attachments Form

5.1.1.1. Bowlby believed that attachment evolved because it serves as an important survival function - an infant who is not attached is less protected. The attachment must also form both ways, parents must also attach to their offspring to care and protect it but it also ensures the continuation of a subsequent generation.

5.1.2. How Attachments Form

5.1.2.1. Babies have an innate drive to become attached, innate behaviours have a time period (critical period) for development this is around three to six months. Infants who do not form attachments in this time find it difficult to form attachments later on. Social Releasers are important in this time to make sure the attachment develops from parent to infant, e.g. smiling.

5.1.3. The Consequences of Attachment

5.1.3.1. The importance of monotropy (the special attachment to one primary figure) is that the infant has one special relationship and forms a mental representation of this relationship - called the internal working model. This model holds consequences: in the long-term it acts as a template for all future relationships because it generates expectations about what relationships are like.

6. The Strange Situation - Ainsworth et al. (1971, 1978)

6.1. Procedure

6.1.1. The procedure had 8 episodes, each designed to highlight certain behaviours, this enables observation of the infants response to: Separation from the Caregiver (separation anxiety), Reunion with the caregiver (reunion behaviour), response to a stranger (stranger anxiety) and the environment (base concept)

6.1.1.1. 1. Parent infant plays

6.1.1.2. 2. Parent sits while infant plays

6.1.1.2.1. Use of parent as a secure base

6.1.1.3. 3. Stranger enters to talk to parent

6.1.1.3.1. Stranger Anxiety

6.1.1.4. 4. Parent leaves, infant plays, stranger offers comfort if needed

6.1.1.4.1. Separation Anxiety

6.1.1.5. 5. Parent returns, greets infant, offers comfort if needed; stranger leaves

6.1.1.5.1. Reunion Behaviour

6.1.1.6. 6. Parent leaves, infant alone

6.1.1.6.1. Separation Anxiety

6.1.1.7. 7. Stranger enters and offers comfort

6.1.1.7.1. Stranger Anxiety

6.1.1.8. 8. Parent Returns, greets infant, offers comfort

6.1.1.8.1. Reunion Behaviour

6.2. Findings

6.2.1. Ainsworth et al. found three main patterns of behaviour which added up to three different types of attachment.

6.2.1.1. Secure Attachment

6.2.1.1.1. This is a strong and contented attachment of an infant, which develops as a result of sensitive responding by the caregiver to the infant's needs. Securely attached infants are comfortable with social interaction and intimacy. Secure attachment is related to healthy subsequent cognitive and emotional development

6.2.1.2. Insecure-Avoidant

6.2.1.2.1. A type of attachment that describes those children who tend to avoid social interaction and intimacy with others

6.2.1.3. Insecure-Resistant

6.2.1.3.1. A type of attachment which describes those infants who both seek and reject intimacy and social interation

6.3. Subsequent research

6.3.1. This showed that Ainsworth overlooked a fourth type of attachment. Main and Solomon (1986) proposed Insecure-Disorganised.

6.3.1.1. Insecure-Disoraganised

6.3.1.1.1. This is characterised by a lack of consistent patterns of social behaviour. In other words, infants that don't have a consistent type of attachment. Such infants lack a coherent strategy for dealing with stress of separation.