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ATTACHMENT History and discussion Attachment: • ―A highly individualized relationship that forms between parents and their child. It is based on a biological bond between child and parent that is as basic a need as is food or warmth. It is affected by many factors, such as parental emotional and physical health, an infant’s temperament, and family’s social support network.‖ (Shafer, 2004, p. 17) Aspects of attachment • INTERNAL WORKING MODELS • Inner sense-making mechanisms • Based on parental response • Basis of future behavioral and emotional interactions Aspects of Attachment • SECURE BASE • Parents are the secure base from which an infant or child feels the safety necessary to explore their world • Coined by Mary Ainsworth The following slides show: • Several studies or experiences that suggest the importance of early socialization and attachment for children, especially with their parents and families. King Frederick II of Germany • 1200s—king removed newborns from mothers to determine instinctive language • No touching or caressing, only feeding and dressing • RESULT??? EUGENICS MOVEMENT • First 6 decades of the 20th century – cleansing of the human race. • Human race should have Scandinavian features • Those who were considered inferior were sterilized • Children who were disabled were considered inferior Arnold Gesell, 1880—1961 • A proponent of the Eugenics movement • Let children grow to at least age 2 before adoptable • Match characteristics with adoptive parents • Until, change caregivers every 6 months • No attachment bonds able to continue and grow Dr. Rene Spitz and his film • 1945 study involving human infants who were separated from mothers early in life for one reason or another . . . • Some raised in foster care; others in orphanage • Made film called ―Grief: A Peril in Infancy‖ • Children shown hauntingly depressed, forlorn wails, sunken eyes • ―Give mother back to baby.‖ Dr. Loretta Bender • Child psychiatrist at Bellevue in the 30s and 40s. • Wrote of Angel Guardian Home: ―They have no play pattern, cannot enter into group play but abuse other children, and cling to adults and exhibit a temper tantrum when cooperation is expected. They are hyperkinetic and distractible, they are completely confused about human relationships, and lose themselves in a destructive fantasy life directed both against the world and themselves.‖ John Watson, 1878--1958 • Belief that affection spoils children: • ―Treat them as though they were young adults. Dress them, bathe them with care and circumspection. Let your behavior always be objective and kindly firm. Never hug or kiss them, never let them sit on your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say goodnight. Shake hands with them in the morning. Give them a pat on the head if they have made an extraordinarily good job of a difficult task . . . ― Sigmund Freud’s take on Attachment …. • A baby’s love for his mother is based on being fed: he loves her because she has breasts. After the child is weaned, he becomes narcissistic and then Oedipal. Howard Skeels, 1920s & 30s • Took 13 orphans and placed them with 13 girls in a mental institution. • The girls were all mentally retarded. • Skeels left 12 children in the orphanage. • IQ testing done at 18 months and 3 years • Children who were adopted increased IQ scores Louis Pasteur, 1822--1895 • The germ genius • Pasteurization • Smallpox vaccine • Also vaccines for chicken pox, cholera, diphtheria, anthrax, and rabies • Boiling surgical instruments • (Doctors didn’t buy the boiling of surgical instruments thing) Antisepsis—1920s or so . . . • Fear of germs after Pasteur • Hospitalized infants • Handling discouraged • Parents not allowed to visit • Babies’ health worsened Harry Bakwin in 1931 • Became head of Pediatric Ward at Bellevue Hospital • Hung sign: ―Do not enter this nursery without picking up a baby!‖ • Infections DECREASED!! Konrad Lorenz, 1903--1989 • Greylag goslings • Imprinting • Inspired John Bowlby in the development of his attachment theory Harry Harlow, 1906--1981 • Rhesus monkeys • Surrogate wire mothers • Surrogate terry cloth mothers • Inspired John Bowlby’s attachment research John Bowlby, 1907--1990 • Presented his attachment theory to the British Psycho-Analytic Society, 1939 • Tossed out: ―Bowlby? Give me Barrabas.‖ • Society embroiled in battle between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein • His theory was based on ethology, developmental psychology, psycho- analysis, cybernetics, and information processing • Influenced by Freud, Harlow, Lorenz “John Bowlby . . . . . . revolutionized our thinking about a child’s tie to the mother and its disruption through separation, deprivation, and bereavement.‖ (Inge Bretherton, 1994) Mary Ainsworth, 1913-1999 • Student and colleague of Bowlby • Observed mothers and children in Uganda • Strange Situation assessment tool STRANGE SITUATION • Children aged 12 - 18 • 5. The caregiver returns months and their mothers and the stranger leaves. • 1. Caregiver and infant enter • 6. The caregiver comforts the room. the child and then leaves for • 2. Child plays with the toys a second time. while the mother is present. • 7. The child is left alone for • 3. A stranger enters the 3 minutes. room and the caregiver • 8. The stranger enters and leaves. interacts with the child. • 4. The stranger tries to • 9. The caregiver enters, comfort the child. picks up the child and the stranger leaves. SECURE ATTACHMENT • Infant explores the room with interest; shows signs of missing parent during separation, crying. Greets parent actively, settles, and returns to play. INSECURE AVOIDANT ATTACHMENT • Doesn’t cry at separation; actively avoids and ignores parent on reunion. No distress, no anger. Unemotional response to parent; avid interest in toys or environment. INSECURE RESISTANT or AMBIVALENT ATTACHMENT • Wary or distressed even prior to separation; little exploration; angry or passive; focuses on parent and cries; fails to settle DISORGANIZED/ DISORIENTED ATTACHMENT • Infant’s behavior is disorganized or disoriented, i.e., may freeze with a trance-like expression, may lay in fetal position, may cling and cry hard, or lean away with gaze averted. Infants in this category have generally had trauma. Carry-over to adulthood • Research suggests that negative attachment issues in childhood have effects in adulthood: anxiety, anger, hysterical, affectionless, psychopathology, depression, agoraphobia, hypochondria, substance abuse . . . Mary Main and Adult Attachment Interview • Adults are interviewed by a trained professional • Their affect while being interviewed is rated, not the story that they tell • Categories match the Ainsworth categories: Secure- Autonomous (Secure); Dismissing (Avoidant); Preoccupied (Resistant); Unresolved/Disorganized (Disorganized/Disoriented)/ SECURE/AUTONOMOUS • Adults have detailed and thoughtful memories of a loving childhood and good relationships with their parents. Autonomous adults speak about their parents’ positive influence on their development. Their interview is coherent, collaborative. DISMISSING ATTACHMENT • Dismissing adults minimize negative childhood experiences and dismiss the impact of early attachments on development. Dismissing adults may insist that they cannot remember childhood events, or their memories may contradict. The conversation is not coherent. PREOCCUPIED • Preoccupied adults are still entangled with past family relationships. They remember childhood events, but their stories are not coherent nor succinct. Preoccupied adults may still be dependent on their parents or angry about past events. The interview is not coherent; angry, passive, fearful. UNRESOLVED/DISORGANIZED • Unresolved/disorganized adults are confused or disoriented when speaking about the loss of a loved one or about past traumas, such as sexual or physical abuse. During discourses of loss or abuse, the adult shows a striking lapse in the monitoring of reasoning or discourse. This adult may lapse into prolonged silence or eulogistic speech as the interview progresses. BUT DON’T FEAR!!!! • Positive attachment has positive effects for the future! And besides, REMEMBER, there are no FACTS when dealing with human behavior, right?
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