January 24, 2013


Attachment Theory.  Adult Attachment Theory.  Both interesting.  Both can offer insight.  Attachment thinking originated with John Bowlby (1907-1990).  He noticed infants.  He noticed mothers of infants.  He noticed distress when separated.  Often intense.  He saw the behavior as adaptive.  Babies need food.  Babies need diapers.  Babies need people.  A person.  A mother.  A caregiver.  His theory goes deeper.  He noticed if the caregiver is accessible and attentive the baby is secure.  If the caregiver is unpredictable the baby is not secure.  Insecure.  First year matters.  
First year predicts attachment style.  
Secure or insecure.

 Mary Ainsworth (1913-1999) added to the research.  3 attachment styles.  Secure, insecure ambivalent and insecure avoidant.  She is credited for "The Strange Situation".  Secure infants when distressed feel confident their attachment figure (mother, caregiver) will be available to meet their needs.  Avoidant infants are independent of their attachment figure.  Physically and emotionally.  When distressed what do they do?  They do not seek connectionAmbivalent infants are clingy.  They behave as if they feel dependent.  When distressed what do they do?  They reject their attachment figure and are difficult to soothe
Insecure infants do not feel confident their attachment figure will be available to meet their needs.  Why?  Possibly inconsistent or unavailable attention from care caregiver during early years.  Hmm?  Possibly.  This is a theory.  This is a theory that stirs my thinking.  This video is cool and sad and intriguing.  It touches on what I believe to be the core of attachment theories. 
Hazen and Shaver (1987) and Fraley and Shaver (2000) added to attachment research.  Adult Attachment Theory.  It is super and has all kinds of groovy implication.  Implications for couples.  Implications for addiction and self-soothing.  Implications for anxiety and depression.  Adult Attachment Theory will be the topic on Saturday's post.

Daily Posts