Maternal Deprivation Theory, Bowlby.

The Maternal Deprivation Theory was developed by John Bowlby (1951) and focuses on how the effects of early experiences may interfere with the usual process of attachment formation. Bowlby proposed that separation from the mother or mother-substitute has a serious effect on psychological development. Bowlby famously said that ‘mother-infant love in infancy and childhood is more important for mental health as are vitamins and proteins for physical health.’ Being separated from a mother in early childhood can have serious consequences according to Bowlby.

Cultural Variations in Attachment

Cross-Cultural Variations in Attachment Definition: The ways members of a society/culture vary in terms of their social practices (child-rearing). These variations, in turn, can effect infant development and behaviour. This can lead to cultural differences in attachment type.

Animal Studies of Attachment: Lorenz and Harlow

Lorenz, animal studies of attachment: Lorenz’s research investigates the Evolutionary Explanation of attachment suggesting that infants are pre-programmed to form an attachment from the second that they are born. The findings from Lorenz’s research (as outlined below) offers support for the idea that infants have an attachment gene and that they imprint on a caregiver not long after birth.

Stages of Attachment identified by Schaffer.

Even though the time after birth is a very special, important time for parents to bond with their new baby, the overall process of the formation of attachments takes longer in human infants, and it is around 7 to 8 months before babies how their real first attachments. Schaffer and Emerson identified that infants go through a number of stages of attachment.

Reciprocity and Interactional Synchrony

Attachment is a two-way, enduring, emotional tie between two people (usually and infant and their primary caregiver). An attachment is usually shown in the behaviour between two people. An attachment between an infant and primary caregiver is usually reciprocal (responding to the action of another with a similar action). This attachment (tie) usually develops in set stages within a fairly set timescale.