Klaus and Kennel (1976) looked at two groups of newly born infants:
Group one allowed contact with mother during feeding in the first 3 days
Group two allowed extended contact with mother lasting several hours a day
One month later when they returned to the hospital mothers in group two were found to cuddle their babies more and make greater eye contact. The effects were still noticeable a year later.
Klaus and Kennel believed that this showed that greater contact led to stronger and closer bond formation between mother and child and provided evidence for the sensitive period.
Schaffer & Emerson and the Glasgow babies (1964)
Aim: To find the age at which attachments start and how intense these were.
Method: They studied 60 babies from a working class area of Glasgow, observing them every four weeks for the first year and then again at 18 months.
They measured strength of attachment by:
1. Separation anxiety: how distressed the child became when separated from the main caregiver (which suggests an attachment has been formed) and
2. Stranger anxiety: distress shown when the child was left alone with an unfamiliar person (which suggests that the child can recognise familiar and unfamiliar people).
Findings: The first specific attachment was formed by 50% of infants between 25 and 32 weeks. Intensity peaked in the first month following the onset of the first attachment. Multiple attachments began soon after the first attachment had been formed. By 18 months 31% had five or more attachments, e.g. to grandparents etc.
Conclusion: human attachments develop in three distinct stages:
Stage and age
This is short lived. Attention seeking behaviour such as crying and smiling is not directed at anyone in particular, suggesting attachments could be made with anyone.
(6weeks to 7 months)
Similar in that the child seeks attention from anyone and is happy to receive attention...