Bowlby’s theory and adoption | Infant and Child Development
John Bowlby's Attachment Theory - Child Development …
I think it is absolutely essential that social workers have a basic understanding of attachment theory and the importance of the early relationship between baby and mother (again used as shorthand) from the first moments of birth, and even in utero as there is evidence that babies can be adversely affected if there is tension, hostility, domestic violence etc., and how this insecure attachment pattern will affect the children as they grow through the ages and stages of childhood. They need to understand that attachment patterns are secure or insecure/anxious, not “strong” or any of the other adjectives that are often used. However it is only by observing the interaction between the mother and child that can demonstrate the attachment pattern. Having said that, great care should be taken not to jump to conclusions, and indeed I don’t think it fair that social workers should be expected to determine the exact attachment pattern between mother and child. This is more the work of clinical psychologists and play therapists, often working collaboratively.
Attachment Theory (Bowlby) - Learning Theories
Robert Karen’s chart is extensive and so I don’t propose to reproduce it in full. But he describes a secure attachment pattern between mother and baby – mother is warm, sensitively attuned, and consistent. Readily attends to baby’s cries. Baby readily explores, using mother as secure base, compliant with mother. Pre-school: easily makes friends, popular, resilient under stress, good self esteem. Teachers treat him in warm, matter of fact, age appropriate way. Aged 6 with parents: Warm and enthusiastic, comfortable with physical contact. Middle childhood: Forms close friendships and is able to sustain them in larger peer groups. In adulthood: Easy access to wide range of feelings and memories, positive and negative. Balanced view of parents. If insecure in childhood has worked through hurt and anger. Usually has securely attached child.
Attachment - Encyclopedia of Infant and Early …
Bowlby’s comment to some extent reflects the language and culture of the day, but remains urgently accurate. Research on attachment over the past three decades has confirmed his central hypothesis that the sensitivity and responsiveness of the caregiver is instrumental in shaping the human infant’s first relationship. This relationship, in turn, has been shown to be a powerful predictor of later important social outcomes. Our efforts to ensure that this outcome is adaptive rather than maladaptive for both the individual and society must, therefore, focus on our support of the infant’s caregiver, most often the mother. In today’s society, this translates most urgently, at a policy level, into ensuring that families at developmental risk, including single mothers, are provided with the social and financial resources necessary to provide their children with a supportive social environment – the prerequisite of a healthy attachment relationship. As suggested by van IJzendoorn, in many cases this will mean the provision of quality daycare for these same families. For service-providers, attachment theory and research call for a focus on early social interaction and on the primary mediator of such interaction, the mother. Patterns of attachment behaviour and mental representations become less flexible and less open to change with developmental time. Investment through social policy and service delivery in the earliest years is thus a more efficient and feasible approach than reactive intervention delayed until the negative consequences of inadequate early experiences become apparent.