Attachment behaviour anticipates a response by the attachment figure children’s thinking siegler pdf will remove threat or discomfort”. Attachment also describes the function of availability, which is the degree to which the authoritative figure is responsive to the child’s needs and shares communication with them. Childhood attachment can define characteristics that will shape the child’s sense of self, their forms of emotion-regulation, and how they carry out relationships with others.
Attachment is found in all mammals to some degree, especially nonhuman primates. Attachment theory has led to a new understanding of child development. Children develop different patterns of attachment based on experiences and interactions with their caregivers at a young age. 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. According to Bowlby, attachment provides a secure base from which the child can explore the environment, a haven of safety to which the child can return when he or she is afraid or fearful.
The sensitive caregiver responds socially to attempts to initiate social interaction, playfully to his attempts to initiate play. She picks him up when he seems to wish it, and puts him down when he wants to explore. On the other hand, the mother who responds inappropriately tries to socialize with the baby when he is hungry, play with him when he is tired, or feed him when he is trying to initiate social interaction. However, it should be recognized that “even sensitive caregivers get it right only about 50 percent of the time.
Their communications are either out of synch, or mismatched. There are times when parents feel tired or distracted. The telephone rings or there is breakfast to prepare. In other words, attuned interactions rupture quite frequently. But the hallmark of a sensitive caregiver is that the ruptures are managed and repaired. The Strange Situation Protocol is a research, not a diagnostic, tool and the resulting attachment classifications are not ‘clinical diagnoses. The clinical concept of RAD differs in a number of fundamental ways from the theory and research driven attachment classifications based on the Strange Situation Procedure.
The idea that insecure attachments are synonymous with RAD is, in fact, not accurate and leads to ambiguity when formally discussing attachment theory as it has evolved in the research literature. The ‘Strange Situation’ is a laboratory procedure used to assess infant patterns of attachment to their caregiver. The procedure consists of eight sequential episodes in which the child experiences both separation from and reunion with the mother as well as the presence of an unfamiliar stranger. Strange Situation although a primary ‘organized’ classification is always given for an infant judged to be disorganized. Each of these groups reflects a different kind of attachment relationship with the mother. A child may have a different type of attachment to each parent as well as to unrelated caregivers. Attachment style is thus not so much a part of the child’s thinking, but is characteristic of a specific relationship.
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However, after about age five the child exhibits one primary consistent pattern of attachment in relationships. The pattern the child develops after age five demonstrates the specific parenting styles used during the developmental stages within the child. These attachment patterns are associated with behavioural patterns and can help further predict a child’s future personality. The strength of a child’s attachment behaviour in a given circumstance does not indicate the ‘strength’ of the attachment bond. Some insecure children will routinely display very pronounced attachment behaviours, while many secure children find that there is no great need to engage in either intense or frequent shows of attachment behaviour”.
The extent of exploration and of distress are affected by the child’s temperamental make-up and by situational factors as well as by attachment status, however. A child’s attachment is largely influenced by their primary caregiver’s sensitivity to their needs. Such children are certain that their parents will be responsive to their needs and communications. In the traditional Ainsworth et al.