Discuss attachment theory and the different attachment styles which are formed during infancy.
Attachment theory is a psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory that provides a descriptive framework of interpersonal relationships between human beings. Attachment theory originated from the work of John Bowlby and is defined as the “positive emotional bond that develops between a child and a particular individual” (Feldmen. R; 2005 p435). Bowlby suggested that infants were “biologically driven to engage in seeking behavior from birth, Attachment itself was believed to evolve gradually throughout the first few years of life.” (Colemen. P; 2000 p229)
it is also said to be the most important form of social development that occurs during infancy. Attachment has been described as an affectional tie that one person forms towards another specific person (usually the parent) a tie that binds them together in space and endures over time. However, it may be more accurately described as an attitude, or readiness for a certain behavior, that one person displays toward another.
The aim of infant attachment is primarily a process of proximity seeking to an identified attachment figure and is more likely to happening in situations of perceived distress or alarm. By forming this attachment it allows the infant to feel more secure by being around the attachment figures presence (Atkinson, R Et al 1990). Attachment theory accepts that in most cases the primary care giver is that of the mother, but there is nothing in the theory to suggest that fathers are not equally likely to become principal attachment figures if they happen to provide most of the childcare. Infants will form attachments to any consistent caregiver who is sensitive and responsive in social interactions with them. And it is suggested that the quality of the social engagement appears to be more influential than amount of time spent.
There are several different phase of attachment during infancy...