Monday, March 22, 2010

Attachment Theory

The idea of the attachment theory has a long history among different historians and psychological researchers. The attachment theory seeks closeness to another person to feel secure when that specific person is present and to feel anxious when that person is absent. The theory has been tested on both animals and humans which I find very interesting. In a popular experiment involing a baby monkey which we even discussed in class last week: young monkeys were separated from their mother's at birth. They were offered dolls to serve as surrogate mothers. The first doll had a body of wire mesh, and the second had a body of cloth. The experiment resulted in the monkey attaching to the doll with the cloth, which provided the monkey with a sense of security. Attachment theory has led to a new understanding of child development. Children develop different styles of attachment based on experiences and interactions with their caregivers. Four different attachment styles have been identified in children: secure, anxious-ambivalent, anxious-avoidant, and disorganized. Attachment theory has become the dominant theory used today in the study of infant and toddler behavior and in the fields of infant mental health, treatment of children, and related fields. I find this study very interesting because the attachment theory at a young age can determine the outcome of the child in the future, ex: in school, jobs, social environments, etc.

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