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Bowlby’s Theory Of Attachment: The Baby’s Attachment To The Parent

Term Paper Title: Bowlby’s Theory Of Attachment: The Baby’s Attachment To The Parent
Word Count: 1632
Page Count: 6.53 (250 words per page double spaced)

Bowlby’s Theory of Attachment: The Baby’s Attachment to the Parent

Chris Puzio
Child Psychology
Dr. Rafalowski

     John Bowlby’s theory of the development of attachment has had a major impact on early childhood development.  Bowlby assumes that the root of human personality is in the child’s earliest relationships.  A child’s development can be effected if there is any damaging trauma in those relationships.  Bowlby had focused his research on the child’s first attachment to the mother because it is mostly the earliest and possibly the most central.  Bowlby’s theory is based on psychoanalytic assumptions.
     John Bowlby had introduced several concepts from ethological theory, which brings evolutionary concepts to bear on the study of behavior.   Bowlby suggests that human evolution has resulted in the child being born with instinctive behaviors that are built in that elicit caregiving from others.  Examples of these behaviors are smiling, crying, or making eye contact.  A mother or another form of adult in the child’s life would instinctively respond to a baby’s cry or need of help.  Instinctive patterns is what brings a mother ans child together to form a specific attachment.  
     Bowlby adds important evolutionary and ethological concepts.  In his view, “The propensity to make strong emotional bonds to a particular individuals is a basic component of human nature, which is already present in germinal form in the neonate.”  In these relationships there is a survival value because they bring nurturance to the child.  This is maintained by the instinctive behaviors that create and sustain proximity between the parent and child or between any other bonded pairs.  A child is always in the need of security which the mother or caregiver can form that important bond.  
     The attachment and the attachment behavior both go along with the concept of the affectionate bond.  An affectionate bond is simply defined as very close tie with the partner as a unique and no other individual.  In this form of bond there is a desire from the child to maintain the closeness they share with the partner.  Attachment is defined as a subvariety of emotional bond in which a person’s sense of security is bound up in the relationship.  In being attached you would feel the sense of trust, security, and comfort in the presence of the other.  
     At this time the child’s relationship with the parent is an attachment, when the parent does not feel the same attachment as the child.  The presence of security is not the same.  An attachment is to an adult is ones partner or a close friend.  
     Attachment behaviors can be observed, which enable a child or adult to achieve and retain proximity to someone else to whom he is attached.  Examples are crying, clinging, smiling, and touching.  Primary attachment is necessary for emotional health.  Attachment behaviors are usually seen when the person is in need of care or comfort.  The attachment is easy to form because the child is most of the time in a needy state.  It is the pattern of these behaviors, which enlightens us to see the quality of the attachment or the affectional bond in these relationships.
     A baby’s attachment emerges gradually.  There are three phases in the infants attachment which Bowlby suggested.  
     Nonfocused Orienting and Singling-
     Phase 1:  Boblwy believes that that the baby begins with a set of innate behavior patterns that signal his needs for one.  Described is “proximity-promoting” behaviors which are supposed to bring one another closer.  The newborns respond to the caregiving efforts for being soothed.  In this phase there is little knowledge of any form of attachment.  But during this phase is where the attachment is being formed.  The child is building up the ability to discriminate the mother from father.
     Focus in One or More Figures
     Phase 2:  At about three months old, the baby begins to aim her attachment behaviors more narrowly.  The child may smile more to the people who are around the child more often then smile to a strange face not seen so often. ...

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