Research papers attachment theory

The way the child behaves during the separation and upon the mother's return can reveal important information about attachment. Based on her observations and research, Ainsworth concluded that there were three main styles of attachment: secure, anxious-avoidant, and anxious-resistant. Since these initial finding, her work has spawned countless studies into the nature of attachment and the different attachment styles that exist between children and caregivers. Mary Ainsworth's work research on attachment has played an important role in our understanding of child development.

While her work is not without its own controversies, such the extent to which early attachment styles contribute to later behavior, her observations have inspired an enormous body of research on early childhood attachment. Ever wonder what your personality type means? Sign up to find out more in our Healthy Mind newsletter. Impact of attachment, temperament and parenting on human development. Korean J Pediatr.

More in Psychology. Research on attachment theory Development of the "Strange Situation" assessment. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources. Main, M. Mary D. Salter Ainsworth: Tribute and portrait. Psychoanalytic Inquiry. In interpreting the two studies and comparing the results to Sroufe's sample, the researchers came to believe that the high rate of avoidant attachment should not be discounted as culturally normative. The end of the first year seems to be a critical period for babies in the development of the attachment relationship Ainsworth, , and the early requirement of babies to be emotionally independent by northern German mothers came at a cost to the child's later well being.

Their issue was that independence is found to result from continuing sensitive responsiveness on the part of the mothers, and is not realized by training or withdrawing support and expressions of love. Two studies using the strange situation methodology - the Tokyo study and the Sapporo study - are generally cited. The results of the Tokyo study Durrett et al.

Universality claim of attachment theory: Children’s socioemotional development across cultures

Mothers of securely attached infants in this study reported greater spousal support than mothers of insecurely avoidant attached infants. The Sapporo study Takahashi, showed a different distribution of attachment classification - however both the sample selection and study procedures were modified. The different results of these two studies have raised important questions regarding the use of standardized procedures in conducting cross-cultural attachment research. Literature on the study of attachment in the Japanese culture is complicated by the concept of amae a relationship with emotional dependence on the caregiver akin to an attachment relationship which is considered similar to the concept of attachment Doi, ; It is important to note that much of the research in this area had been conducted in "artificial" laboratory settings.

Bornstein and colleagues , however, examined, compared and discussed key characteristics of maternal responsiveness to infant activity in home settings in New York, Paris and Tokyo. Many of the predicted maternal responses were commonly seen in all three settings including appropriate response to infant's basic needs, nurturing response to infant vocalizing distress, encouraging exploration of the environment, and imitating infant's non-distress vocalization. Different culture-specific response patterns were observed, for example, in response to infant's looking rather than vocalizing, and to whether mothers encouraged others beside themselves to engage in the interactions.

Very little research on socio-emotional development or attachment has taken place in China and it is not known how representative any one study might be. The Beijing study conducted by Gao and Wu cited in Posada et al. They found that Chinese mothers perceived the ideal child to be one that is securely attached, and when asked to describe the profile of a securely attached child, both the experts' and mothers' profiles were in agreement. Tang provides an overview of the psychoanalytic implications of Chinese philosophy and child-rearing practices.

Ho and others suggest that Chinese culture values interdependence over independence, and that Chinese parents emphasize emotional harmony and control in relationships. A study by Lin and Fu found that the high value given interdependence within the family was totally compatible with support for independence in the wider social context external to the family, since this is generally recognized as being required for success at school and work.

Attachment Theory

The first study of attachment in China using the strange situation methods was conducted by Hu and Meng from Peking University in Beijing with 31 mothers and infants. There were 15 girls and 16 boys in the sample, each being an only child. Grandmothers played a key role as substitute caregivers.

The results were similar for female and male infants. The researchers were not confident about their findings and interpretation, particularly with regard to the avoidant classification. However, the findings seemed to support the relevance of caregiver sensitivity in attachment development. Mothers of secure infants were more involved in child care than mothers of avoidant infants. Sagi et al found important differences in the attachment security of Kibbutz infants who sleep in a collective sleeping arrangement at night versus infants who returned to their parents to sleep for the night - the latter being more secure.

Several Israeli studies Sagi et al. Studies to pursue the reason for this occurrence have not been completed. All interracially adopted infants were placed before 6 month of age mean age of 11 weeks in adoptive families. The adoptive mother's sensitivity seems comparable to that of non-adoptive parents.

The author's suggest these results might be attributable to adoption at a young age. This would concur with the maternal deprivation studies cited earlier.


What is Attachment Theory? Bowlby's 4 Stages Explained.

Marcovitch et al. The group as a whole was functioning in the normal range and was considered well adjusted, but children who had experienced less than 6 month of institutional care had better outcomes than the rest on developmental measures. Secure attachment was less frequent than normally expected and avoidant attachment was not observed.

Children who had more institutional experience, those who were developmentally less competent, and those who were insecurely attached had more parent-reported behaviour problems. Mainemer, Gilman and Ames evaluated parenting stress in 39 families that adopted 43 Romanian orphans.

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Predictors of stress included attachment security and the number of behaviour problems as well as family factors. In summary, the distribution of secure attachment classification in different countries shows a striking similarity. Sagi, The distribution of types of insecure avoidant and ambivalent and disorganized attachment classifications, if measured, are less consistent. Differences have been attributed to the over-riding expression of a cultural value, such as dependency or independence, and to differences in perceived stress generated by the strange situation methods between mother-infant dyads with different cultural experiences.

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To talk about a 'good enough parent" is to absolve parents from having to be a 'super parent'. What is expected is that parents support, understand and respond to their infant in distress, or otherwise. Bowlby speculated that when infants are separated from their attachment figures they would show emotional reactions in a particular manner. He elaborated these concepts in his trilogy entitled Loss in three phases: protest, despair and detachment. Bowlby thus enhanced our understanding of the phenomenology of grief.

He offered explanations of normative reactions to loss of an attachment figure and also atypical forms of mourning. Chronic mourning is of particular interest to the understanding of parenting practices.

It may be inferred from this that unresolved grief might be an issue for new immigrants and refugees, and "good enough" parenting may become challenging for parents faced with an unfamiliar milieu and experiencing grief. However, studies that capture the interaction between good enough parenting, attachment, and parental psychopathology show mixed results. Maternal anxiety similarly predicts a high percentage of insecure children Cassidy et al, Of importance are the findings that the rates of child insecurity in groups of mildly depressed mothers did not differ from those of the control groups Radke-Yarrow et al, As maternal depression and anxiety appear to be fairly common conditions in new immigrants, these studies seem relevant.

The substance-abusing parent poses a complicated parenting situation. The physical absence of the parent due to medical or emotional disability, hospitalizations, and transient lifestyle all contribute to inconsistent, erratic parenting.

Attachment Theory Essays (Examples)

In addition, the effects of gestational substance use may adversely effect the fetal development. The parent's capacity to look after the infant when abstaining may not be in question, but the unpredictable pattern of care-giving is not comprehensible to an infant and results in insecure attachment patterns. Adolescent caregivers have been a focus for researchers in understanding issues of attachment and parenting practices East et al.

Examples are chosen that are relevant to mainstream and prominent Canadian cultural groups. Parenting practices influence this hierarchy of development, and in turn these practices are influenced by social, cultural practices and beliefs see diagram 1.