Attachment Theory

Need for warm, intimate, continuous relationship with mother or caregiver. Absence of it is maternal deprivation

Partial deprivation results in anxiety, excessive need for love, powerful feelings of revenge, consequent feelings of guilt and depression. Lead to nervous disorders

Complete deprivation due to absence of one person with whom to feel secure can cripple the capacity to form relationships.

Actual family environment cause emotional problems

Internal working models: internalized models of infant-caregiver interactions (IWM)

Mental representation of self and environment

Strange situation experiment

20 minute miniature drama

  1. 1.Mothe and infant playing in a play room
  2. 2.2. A stranger introduced to the play room
  3. 3.The stranger plays with the baby in the presence of mother
  4. 4.Mother briefly leaves the room
  5. 5.Mother returns (reunion)
  6. 6.Baby is alone, both stranger and mother leaves (second separation
  7. 7.Stranger enters
  8. 8.Mother enters (second reunion)

Internal models based on experiences of loss, rejection and separation

Mary Main: internal working models , adult attachment interview

Attachment an inbuilt tendency to assure development

Repeated interactions with caregiver form IMW internal working models

Internal representations express in different attachment patters

The attachment system persist across a life span

Interactive repair

Human infants need the protection of “stronger and wiser others” to help them face bodily, emotional, and environmental challenges

Separation leads to protest, despair and detachment

Proximity seeking: seeking and maintaining proximity to a protective figure or figures

Secure base: precondition for all meaningful interactions. A secure base from which he can explore the world, unfamiliar settings, and experiences. At times of vilence of danger, the infant clings to the attachment figure. Attachment and exploration are related. It is only when child is sure of maternal presence or security, that he resorts to environment. When there is this secure base, it does not impede exploratory behavior. In adults absence of secure base in interpersonal interactions lead to defensive behaviours. When no secure base exists, an individual may resort to defensive and manipulative behaviours such as sexualization of relationships to minimize the pain of separation anxiety at the expense of truly reciprocal relationship.

Safe haven: humans seek haven not in a place, but in the company of a stronger or wiser person. In a moment of distress during play, the child moves away from playmate and to the mother or principal care giver. Here there is the emotionally distressed state present.

Separation anxiety and response to loss.

Emotional response is to Protest, despair and detachment. In healthy mourning different responses such as anger to third parties, a oneself or the person lost, denial of loss and search for the person in the hope of reunion.

Protest: express anger physically with the limited resources, Reject alternative figures like nurses.

Despair: hopelessness prevail. Worried about missing mother, physical responses diminish, withdrawn and inactive. Yearning for return of the lost attachment figure. Anger may be directed to other children, compulsive care giving

Detachment: resume interest in the environment, accept alterntive figures. When mother returns, may show clinging, apathetic, listlessness etc.

If prolonged, my ignore contact with humans. May become self centered, preoccupied with material things such as toys, superficial and no longer care for anyone.

In adults excessive demands on others, angry when the needs are not met, dependent or hysterical, lack deep relationships.

Affectionate bond and attachment bond

IMW- are working because correction continued revision

Positive low

Avoidance

Negative high

Dependence

       Positive                                                                           Negative

         Low                                                                                       Hight

Cell 1

Secure

Cell 3

preoccupied

Cell 4

Dismissing

Cell 3

Fearful

Secure: Group B

Securely attached: proximity maintanence, comfort seeking, exploration. Consistently available and responsive.

Adults: low in anxiety and avoidance dimensions. Comfortable with closeness and intimacy. Self perception as worthy of affection, valued b others. Others are caring, rliable.

Optimal affect regulation strategy. Apparently threatening negative emotions become less threatening. More organized n traumatic situations. A conviction that relating with others can beget relief, comfort and pleasure and that the self is good, loved and accepted will be registered

in the internal working model. Secure attachment becomes a milieu for sufficient affect regulation.

The capacity for interactive repair, which helps the infants to regulate

stress-induced negative affect, will also enable them in later stages of life to

seek contact with others.

conflict resolution style with high concern for self and others.

Anxious/Avoidant Group Aavoidantly attached infants showed only limited distress at separation. On reunion, they avoided contact with caregivers, and were engaged with toys but with less enthusiasm and

interest. child was a way of distracting himself from the need of

attachment

two types of avoidant attachment in adulthood

based on the dimensions of avoidance and anxiety. Fearful-avoidant are

those who are high in both anxiety and avoidance. They desire and fear

closeness. They distrust others strongly and are extremely sure of the

rejection of others. This results in discomfort with intimacy and avoidance

of close relationships. Dismissing-avoidant type persons are low in anxiety

but high in avoidance. They see their caregivers as generally unresponsive

and unavailable, but themselves as confident and invulnerable to negative

feelings. They try to be self-reliant and to project a positive self-image in

the midst of possible rejections by minimizing attachment needs, distancing

themselves from others, and restricting expressions of emotionality

deactivation strategy of affect

regulation. Aversive and intrusive responses of caregivers do not restore

emotional equilibrium to the infant, rather, they leave him emotionally

overaroused. In neither case does he receive any help to manage the

negative emotions. Such situations teach the infant to overregulate hisfeelings and expressions in order to maintain an attachment bond

Anxious/Ambivalent – Group Cchildren were distressed prior to the separation as well as throughout the procedure. The presence of the caregiver did not calm them

and they appeared passive and angry, and would not return to exploration

after a reunion. caregivers are committed to the task

of nurturing, but are often unavailable emotionally They responded

according to their schedule, not when the infant needed it. They were

unavailable or unresponsive sometimes and intrusive at other timesThis

results in enmeshed relationships. Here, the children would cling to the

parent due to such experiences of intermittent unavailability

preoccupied or anxious-ambivalent

persons show high anxiety and low avoidance. They desire a high degree of

closeness and are not confident of others‘ availability and responsiveness.

Their self-esteem depends highly on the approval of others since they own

a negative self model and a positive model of others. They are

hypervigilant to potential sources of stress or th

p. 86. hyperactive strategy of affect

regulation. In order to attain the desired proximity to the attachment figure,

the individual keeps his or her attachment system hyperactivated.

A sense of

personal helplessness created by this strategy inhibits the development of

positive feelings about the self because (1) such feelings may deactivate the

attachment system and (2) overdependency destabilises self esteem and

leads to abandonmen

Usually such children seem to have a difficult

temperament which is characterised by intense expressiveness, negative

mood responses, slow adaptability to change, and irregularity of biological

functioning

Disorgnized

 

the infant fails to develop a coherent

strategy for managing anxiety and he or she will direct attachment

behaviours with conflicting motivations

Disorganised infants and unresolved adults may be fluctuating between

the deactivating and the hyperactivating strategies of affect regulation

Access to both these strategies makes them prone to conflicting and

overwhelming impulses. Their self-destructive behaviour can be

understood as their mode of dealing with these conflicting and

overwhelming impulse

Individual Trait and relationship pattern

attachment pattern functions as a relationship pattern as well as

an individual trait

Fraley and Brumbaugh, while holding that attachment

security can be both trait-like and contextual phenomena, understand the

within-person variations as a temporary deviation from a dynamically

stable value

an attachment system endures all throughout the life

‗from cradle to grave‘

It is the proper attachment in the early years, which equips the person to

confront adaptively the social challenges of his or her environment

in adolescence to peers

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