Outline and Evaluate Research Into Types of Attachment

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Outline and evaluate research into types of attachment.

The Strange Situation was devised by Mary Ainsworth and her colleagues in order to test the nature of attachment by placing an infant in conditions of mild distress which was caused by the presence of a stranger and separation from the caregiver. This also allowed the observers to measure stranger anxiety and separation anxiety. The procedure consisted of eight episodes with each episode designated to behaviour for example episode 3 the entrance of the stranger measured the stranger anxiety. With respects to the Strange Situation, Ainsworth found out that there were three types of attachment. One of these being secure attachment, these infants were in a happy relationship with their caregiver, however were distressed by the presence of the stranger and separation from the caregiver. They happily greeted their caregiver on reunion. The second type of attachment was insecure- avoidant, these infants avoided social interaction and intimacy. They were unaffected by the presence of the stranger and separation from the caregiver. Lastly, the third type of attachment was insecure- resistant, in which the infant had high levels of stranger anxiety and separation anxiety and they rejected the caregiver on reunion.

The Strange Situation has provided means through which we can study attachment types and later correlated them with behaviours in the future as done by Prior and Glaser who conducted a longitudinal studies and found a link between attachment types and later childhood behaviour. They found out that securely attached infants had less emotional dependence and high achievement orientation, while insecure- avoidant and insecure- resistant infants were associated with aggression.

Furthermore, the Strange Situation has allowed us to study factors that can influence the type of attachment, for example the…...

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