Attachment theory emphasizes the importance of a secure and trusting mother-infant bond on development and well-being.
Infant attachment[ edit ] The attachment system serves to achieve or maintain proximity to the attachment figure. In close physical proximity this system is not activated, and the infant can direct its attention to the outside world.
Within attachment theory, attachment means "a biological instinct in which proximity to an attachment figure is sought when the child senses or perceives threat or discomfort. Attachment behaviour anticipates a response by the attachment figure which will remove threat or discomfort".
John Bowlby begins by noting organisms at different levels of the phylogenetic scale regulate instinctive behavior in distinct ways, ranging from primitive reflex-like "fixed action patterns" to complex plan hierarchies with subgoals and strong learning components.
In the most complex organisms, instinctive behaviors may be "goal-corrected" with continual on-course adjustments such as a bird of prey adjusting its flight to the movements of the prey. Such flexible organisms pay a price, however, because adaptable behavioral systems can more easily be subverted from their optimal path of development.
For humans, Bowlby speculates, the environment of evolutionary adaptedness probably resembles present-day hunter-gatherer societies for the purpose of survival, and, ultimately, genetic replication.
These figures are arranged hierarchically, with the principal attachment figure at the top. Anxiety is the anticipation or fear of being cut off from the attachment figure. If the figure is unavailable or unresponsive, separation distress occurs.
Threats to security in older children and adults arise from prolonged absence, breakdowns in communication, emotional unavailability, or signs of rejection or abandonment. A securely attached baby is free to concentrate on their environment.
The attachment behavioural system serves to achieve or maintain proximity to the attachment figure. During the first phase the first eight weeksinfants smile, babble, and cry to attract the attention of potential caregivers.
Although infants of this age learn to discriminate between caregivers, these behaviours are directed at anyone in the vicinity. During the second phase two to six monthsthe infant discriminates between familiar and unfamiliar adults, becoming more responsive toward the caregiver; following and clinging are added to the range of behaviours.
If the caregiver is inaccessible or unresponsive, attachment behaviour is more strongly exhibited. For example, whereas babies cry because of pain, two-year-olds cry to summon their caregiver, and if that does not work, cry louder, shout, or follow.
Tenets[ edit ] Common attachment behaviours and emotions, displayed in most social primates including humans, are adaptive. The long-term evolution of these species has involved selection for social behaviors that make individual or group survival more likely.
The commonly observed attachment behaviour of toddlers staying near familiar people would have had safety advantages in the environment of early adaptation, and has similar advantages today.
Bowlby saw the environment of early adaptation as similar to current hunter-gatherer societies.Bowlby drew on a variety of subjects, including cognitive science, developmental psychology, evolutionary biology, and ethology (the science of animal behavior).His resulting theory suggested that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have .
☆ bowlby’s ethological theory Ethological Theory of Attachment recognizes infant’s emotional tie to the caregiver as an evolved response that promotes survival. John Bowlby induced this idea for infant-caregiver bond.
Bowlby’s ethological attachment theory bases its argument on the premise that human individuals, just like animals have a tendency to have a natural inclination to establish and maintain lasting affectionate bonds (attachments) to the familiar and irreplaceable others.
Bowlby's Ethological Theory of Attachment Bowlby’s ethological theory of attachment recognizes the development of attachment between the infant and their caregiver as a revolved response in the first two years of life.
Abstract. Bowlby’s ethological attachment theory bases its argument on the premise that human individuals, just like animals have a tendency to have a natural inclination to establish and maintain lasting affectionate bonds (attachments) to the familiar and irreplaceable others.
Keywords: John Bowlby, mother love, parental care, maternal deprivation, women, ethological theory, attachment behavior Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service.