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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 - Attachment: Forming Close Relationships

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Stuart Kamenetsky

NotesFromReadingCHAPTER4ATTACHMENTFORMINGCLOSERELATIONSHIPSPGS97125Theories of AttachmentIn the first days weeks and months of life infants come to discriminate between familiar people and strangers By the end of the first year or so they develop a loving attachment to one or two of the special people who are regular participants in their lives mother father sibling ndAttachment A strong emotional bond that forms between infant and caregiver in the 2 half of the childs first yearPsychoanalytic TheoryAccording to Freud infants become attached to their mother because they associate her with gratification of their instinctual drive to obtain pleasure through sucking and oral stimulationThe mother who breastfeeds her baby is an important attachment figure The baby becomes attached first to the mothers breast and then to the mother herself during Freuds oral stageExplanation turns out to be incorrect as infants develop attachments to other people who never feed themLearning TheoryDrivereduction learning theorists suggested that the mother becomes an attachment object because she reduced the babys primary drive of hunger Wanting the mothers presence becomes a secondary or learned drive because she s paired with the relief of hunger and tensionHarlow Harlow Experiment infant monkeys were separated from heir real mothers and raised in the company of two surrogate mothers One mother was made of stiff wire and had a feeding bottle while the other mother was made of soft terrycloth but had no bottle Baby monkeys preferred to cling to the cloth mother even thought no food was providedOperantconditioning learning theorists suggested that the basis for the development of attachment is not feeing but the visual auditory and tactile stimulation that infants receive from their caregivers Attachment isnt automatic and develops over time as a result of satisfying interactions with responsive adults However this view cannot explain why children form attachments to an abusive parent if that person is the only caregiver availableCognitive Developmental Theory Important components of the development of infants attachment include the infants ability to differentiate between familiar and unfamiliar people and the infants awareness that people continue to exist even when they cannot be seenInfants must have the ability to remember what people look like and the knowledge Piaget called Object Permanence the understanding that objects including people have a continuous existence apart from the babys interaction with themAs infants grow older physical proximity to the attachment figure become less importantEthological TheoryThe most complete explanation of attachment is by Bowlby His theory stresses the role of instinctual infant responses that elicit the parents care and protection and focuses on the way the parent acts as a secure base According to this theory attachment is linked to explorationBowlby was influenced by Lorenz and the notion of Imprinting the process by which birds and other infrahuman animals develop a preference for the person or object to which they are first exposed during a brief critical period after birthHow Attachment DevelopsFormation and Early Development of AttachmentThe early development of attachment can be divided into four phasesoThe babys social responses are relatively indiscriminate lasts only a month or twooInfants learn to distinguish between familiar people and strangersoSpecific attachments develop ie actively seeking eye contact with mom over a family friend This begins when baby is about 7 monthsoGoalcorrected partnershipChildren become aware of other people feelings goals and plan and begin to consider these things in formulating their own actions
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