Childhood attachment is a part of the attachment theory that has originated in John Bowlby’s work since the 1950s.
To prepare a good structure for a research paper on childhood attachment the writers have to understand that according to attachment theory, a newborn baby is “genetically programmed” to bond with its parents. This is the evolutionary purpose of protecting the child from danger and increase its chances of survival. The child screams when necessary and thus demands its parents/carer of attention. Further development goes through a number of phases where during the first phase the child does not identifies its care persons but it gradually begins to show preference for those he had the most contact with.
At one year of age, a child is developed enough for the endeavor to maintain physical contact with the primary attachment persons.
The child develops, when development occurs normally, the ability to search its parents/care persons in proximity, and use them as “safe haven” in times of stress and “secure base” for exploration of the environment. How further development shape the individual’s relationships throughout life is explained by Bowlby attachment theory.
Bowlby research includes studies on young people that was at odds with existence. What they had in common was very often problematic relationships with their mothers. He also studied children at hospital admission in the 1950s they were left with no contact with their parents for several weeks, and how this affected them. At this time, the prevailing view was that childhood attachment was a byproduct associated with food, and Bowlby made a major effort to show the importance of the child’s unique, irreplaceable relationships with its care persons.
Bowlby’s colleague and successor Mary Ainsworth contributed to attachment theory by the 70s when she begun to empirically study different types of related strategies that the child uses, depending on the relationship with its attachment persons. She described the guidelines for identifying the types of “security,” “insecurity/avoidance” and “insecurity/ambivalent” extension depending on the child’s behavior toward its parents at the age of one in a mildly stressful situation, the so-called strange situation. This showed childhood attachment is also related to parents’ sensitivity and response to their child’s signals during the first year of life.
In the 1980s, Mary Main and her colleagues developed the research related to treating parents related skills and relate it to their caring capacity. She developed a so-called semi-structured interview, “Adult Attachment Interview” (AAI), which was intended to be able to read a parent’s ability to care, based on their own attachment history.
In attachment theory there are major implications for the way people relate to each other, especially in peer and romantic relationships and the nurturing of the children of their own, after the person’s attachment history. Based on attachment theory both preventive and treatment interventions were designed.
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