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Flashcards in Attachment Deck (37):

what is attachment

an emotional bond between 2 individuals characterised by mutual affection and desire to maintain proximity


who caused the emergence of attachment theory

bowlby, 1951


what was the significance of the emergence of attachment theory

it was a major department from the psychoanalytic tradition, which focused on children's internal fantasy rather than real events, and included the maternal deprivation hypothesis


maternal deprivation hypothesis=

the emotional and intellectual development of the infant will be impaired without the maternal-infant attahment. This is shown by studies on orphans ex. by Goldfarb and Spitz (found lower IQ, more depression and lack of recovery in institutionalised children)


what is imprinting

a form of learning, where the infant fixes its attention on the first stimulus( during a critical period) and results in the infant following this stimulus


what is the critical period for humans

0-24 months


what aspects of the infant-mother bond gives rise to the consequences seen following deprivation (as in maternal deprivation hypothesis)

a monotropy between the two (innate tendency to become attached to only one person) and a qualitative different bond to other bonds formed with that infant, so that if the mother is lost no one else can satisfy that role as optimally.


what are the 3 stages of distress following maternal separation

protest, despair and detachment


ex of separation and delinquency study:

44 thieves study, bowlby 1946. Majority of thieves had experienced prolonged separation and hence irreversible effects of absent attachment), also lots were affectionless psychopaths


chugani et al 2001 showed:

early deprivation affects cognition, emotion and social behaviour, and also somatic complaints (i.e deprived are less healthy and ill more)


what is the basis behind neurobiological findings of deprivation

output is being considered, and since output has been seen to change (ex cognitive function) then system as a whole (ex brain volume) must have also changed


who did the neurobiological experiments involving assessing attachment type and affective loss to loss in GM volume?

Benetti et al 2010


which changes in GM are associated with high attachment-related anxiety?

decrease in anterior temporal pole
increase in left orbital gyrus


how is the cerebellum involved in neurobiological findings of attachment?

the cerebellum is involved in mediating the moderating effect of affective losses by attachment related avoidance


what have neurobiological findings shown about early attachment experiences?

that early attachment experiences may contribute to structural brain differences


what have measurable brain changes implied about attachment style?

that attachment style may mediate individual differences in responses to affective loss


what are the criticisms of bowlby's theory

1. one or multiple attachments?
2. fathers value? only emotional/economical?
3. lack of maternal care, or other factors? ex. abuse


what do animal studies on the HPA response indicate about early deprivation?

that early separation results in increased HPA response throughout the life (i.e. results in a permanent change)


what does the fact that postnatal handling reduces HPA response in animals suggest?

it may suggest a role for the father since handling was not maternal


what did aimsworth's studies investigate?

parallel deveolpments, supposed to be a naturalistic separation scenario and provide evidence for attachment types


what are the 3 attachment types

secure attachment (70%), anxious-avoidant (15%), anxious resistant (15%)


secure attachment=

70%, exploratory behaviour increases when mother present, distress caused by mum leaving rather than thought of being alone



15%, play not affected with or without mum, distress caused by being left alone by mum or stranger



15%, little exploration with or without mum, infant ambivalent to mum (because doesn't know whether to seek comfort from or avoid), resistant to strangers


what was the aim and result of aimsworth strange situation method?

to show universality of attachment patterns, showed that baby responded differently after second separation


what 4 traits affect attachment?

1. Sensitivity (accurately interpreting babies signals)
2. Accessibility (vs. ignorance)
3. Cooperation (satisfying Bs needs vs imposing schedule)
4. Acceptance (vs. rejection)


when would rejection be seen?

postnatal depression


what is the proposed 4th attachment type and who suggested it?

insecure-disorganised, solomon and main(1991)



no consistent behavioural pattern but similar to avoidant/ambivalent, associated with early trauma to mother where fear is transmitted to baby


bernstein and lamb (1992) showed

no preference over m/f when comfort seeking, would chose m when both present but subsequent studies show this varies between cultures so may be evidence for monotropy


main et al (1981) showed

no difference when assessing quality of attachment to m vs f


bowlby 1977 quote of effect of early attachment on romantic relationships:

"attachment behaviour is held to characterize human beings from the cradle to the grave"


Hazan and shaver 1987 showed that

there is a significant association between recall of parenting and adult romantic attachment


recall of parenting is easily discredited because

it relies on memory an is subject to interpretation (therefore longitudinal studies arguably better)


what were the results of roisman et al (2005)s longitudinal study?

that ss at 12-18 months predicts quality of adult romantic relationships at 20-21 years


what did Fonagi et al (1991)s study show?

that Ms score on adult attachment interview correlates with results of the strange situation


Van ljzendoorn & kroonbergs (1988) cross cultural study showed that

secure was the most overall common, a-a more common in western europe and a-r more common in israel and japan (possibly due to social differences in family networks)