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John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory Analysis Essay

In this essay it is going to go into detail on John Bowlby’s Attachment theory, Erik Erikson’s stages of development, FREUD and ROGERS. Each theory will be explained and how it can demonstrate differences between individuals. Firstly, this essay is going to discuss John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, which was developed in 1969(REFERENCE), and how it can identify differences between individuals. According to Gross (2015), an attachment is: “…an intense emotional relationship that is specific to two people, that endures over time, and in which prolonged separation from the partner is accompanied by stress and sorrow.

MAY CHANGE TO 1 IN POWERPOINT An infant develops an attachment based on the psychoanalytic concept of “cupboard love”. In other words, this suggests that babies typically form bonds with someone that fulfils their basic psychological needs, things such as feeding and comfort (Collin, 2011 p274). A study by Konrad Lorenz was conducted on animals and who they first bond with when they are born. The results show that an animal bonds with the first moving thing that they have contact with, which typically is the mother. As a result of this, Bowlby took interest in the research of early attachment (Collin, 2011 p274).

When a child is born their instinct is to be close to their primary caregiver for a feeling of safety. Unlike animals, who are developed enough to physically go after and cling to their mothers for safety, babies have to approach this in a different way. They learn new ways to encourage the closeness of their carer by doing things such as crying, cooing and gurgling. Most caregivers will automatically give the child attention and satisfy their needs (Schacter, D. L. , et al, 2011 p457). According to Bowlby (Collins, 2011 p275) mothers form a bond with their babies which means they always want to be close with them.

If this bond is broken and they cannot contact the child then this the mother and child will become anxious and insecure (Collins, 2011 p275). The mother-infant bond is incredibly important and if this bond is broken or damaged then it could have psychological effects on the child (Collins, 2011 p275). Bowlby uses the attachment process to develop his theory further. In this process there are four different stages. The stages are the pre-attachment phase, attachment, clear-cut attachment and goal-corrected partnership. REFERENCE. Firstly, the pre-attachment phase lasts until about three months.

At about six weeks old, babies start to behave in a certain way towards anybody. They do things like smiling and gurgling. The baby uses these gestures to signal that they need something (Gross, 2015 p532). The next stage of the process happens between three and seven months. The baby starts to identify who is familiar and who is unfamiliar to them and will typically direct these needs to who they are comfortable with. However, even though they will signal their needs at certain familiar people they would not act increasingly distressed if an unfamiliar person took care of them (Boyd, 2008 p151).

The third phase is clear-cut attachment. This stage usually happens around seven months to 24 months. Here is where we start to see infants developing specific attachments to people and being able to discriminate between these individuals. The child will try and stay close to this person at all times. If the child becomes separated from their carer they may become distressed and react to this by crying (Boyd, 2008 p151). At this stage, the child may be hostile to any kind of close contact they have with strangers. If the stranger is giving the child direct attention they may react to this by moving away or cuddling into their carer.

However, at this age if there is a stranger in their presence they wont necessary react like this but only when they focus on the child. (Gross, 2015 p532). Lastly, is the goal-corrected partnership. This phase happens from 24 months and onwards. At this age the child is now able to understand that the way they react to their needs can have affects on the way that their care giver responds to them (Boyd, 2008 p151). If the child is hungry, they know to sit and wait patiently for their food rather than excessively crying until they get it.

One factor that may affect a child’s attachment is being placed in day care. It is regarded as unusual if a child is cared for by any other person other than its mother. It is said, that if the mother leaves the child in the care of another person and goes out to work throughout the child’s first year then the child will experience maternal deprivation. As a result of this, the child may not form an attachment with its mother and become anxious and insecure (Gross, 2015 p542). However, according to Clarke-Stewart (1989), the separation from a child’s mother may make them become independent and mature.

Therefore, when the child’s mother collects them from day care if they will not necessarily greet them with love and affection but this does not mean they are avoiding their mother (Gross, 2015 p542). This theory demonstrates differences between individuals as it shows that depending on what kind of relationship you have with your mother throughout your first year of life can determine what kind of person you will be once you an adult. If you did not experience this attachment with your mother, you may behave differently to someone that did experience this attachment.

The second theory that is going to be discussed is Erik Erikson’s stages of human development which he developed in 1959 (Schacter, 2011 p476). There are eight stages involved in this and he looks closely at how each stage can have one of two outcomes. The first outcome is regarded as positive, also known as ‘adaptive’. The second outcome is classified as negative, in other words ‘maladaptive’. (Gross, 2015 P628) The stages are Oral-sensory, which happens between birth to twelve to eighteen months. The next stage is muscularanal, this happens be

The first stage of Erikson’s theory is the Oral-sensory stage which happens between birth and twelve to eighteen months. This is the first stage in life and the crisis here is trust versus mistrust (Gross, 2015 p639). The main person that they have a relationship with is their mother or mother figure. This person is there to feed, look after and comfort the child with problems like teething and sleeping. Due to the child being completely dependable on other people the child gains some sort of understanding that this person will be there to fulfil their basic psychological and social needs (Schacter, 2011 p476).

If their mother neglects their needs then this will lead to mistrust in their relationship (Gross, 2015 p639). Another stage of Erikson’s theory is the adolescence stage which happens between the ages of twelve and eighteen years. The crisis involved in this stage is identity versus role confusion (Schacter, 2011 p477). In other words, this is where they are concerned about what other people think of them. In this stage, the main groups that they are concerned with are their peers and our-groups. These groups are who they try to be like and impress as a way of being accepted (Gross, 2015 p639).

Young people tend to socialise with people that they were friends with in primary school of the same gender, then broaden out and become friends with the other sex. Throughout the younger years of this stage, they typically only hang around in big groups of people. However, as they get older they will most likely become closer with another person in or outwith their group that they will go on to have an intimate relationship with (Schacter, 2011 p477). For the duration of the adolescence stage, people tend to spend more time with their peers and less time with their parents.

Many of their values and opinions will be influenced by their peers as this is who they are spending all of their time with. It is incredibly important for young people to be accepted by their peers, and if they are not then this can lead to them feeling lonely, isolated and depressed. If you do not achieve the desired goal in each of these stages this can affect how you progress through life. It may mean that you have to go back to the stage that you missed and fulfil these needs in order to be completely happy with how meaningful your life was and also being able to accept death when it comes.

Erikson’s model is good in demonstrating differences between individuals as it shows that everyone can have different experiences in life. It can help you understand why someone is the way they are if they missed any of the key events. The first individual psychology theorist that will be discussed in this essay is Sigmund Freud. He first published his psychoanalytic theory of personality in 1900 (Gross, 2015 P2). Freud began to work with a doctor called Joseph Breuer between 1842 and 1925, where they observed hysteric patients.

He then began to make his own observations of these patients and build on theories to explain why these people acted and behaved in the way that they do. One conclusion that Freud came to was that the patients problems could be linked with their childhood and the experiences they could not remember (Shacter, 2011 p17). From this theory, Freud came up with the idea that there was an unconscious mind. According to Freud, the unconscious “is the part of the mind that operates outside the conscious awareness but influences conscious thoughts, feelings and actions” (Shacter, 2011 p18). (MAY HAVE TO REFERNCE FREUD HERE).

IN OTHER WORDS, things that happened in your child that are traumatising or unhappy memories can come back in your life through your dreams for example. These experiences may be the cause of your anxiety, dreams and your ambitions. Freud developed a type of therapy which he called psychoanalysis which meant that he was able to bring the patients unconscious back into their conscious in order to gain a better understanding. One of Freud’s patients was able to bring back an experience of a time when they were a toddler and they were frightened of a man on a black horse who was wearing a mask (Shacter, 2011 p18).

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