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Childrens Attachment Styles - Essay Example

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Childrens Attachment Styles

According to Van Wagner (n.d.), "attachment is a special emotional relationship that involves an exchange of comfort, care, and pleasure". Attachment, which has branched out to many researches and studies have originated from John Bowlby's theory of attachment. That is, it is in human's nature to have the tendency to make strong emotional bonds and connections to particular individuals. Attachment styles that are attained in childhood can have a probable effect on how a child grows into adulthood. Through this theory, there is a better understanding of child development.
Kassin (2004) defines styles of attachments as the secure and insecure attachment. These types of attachments were recognized after the "Strange Situation" test done on parents and their infants to test their reactions after a "separation and reunion" procedure. An infant with a secure attachment is secure when the parent is present. Although distressed by separation, there is no significant trouble when this happens. Upon reuniting with parents after separation, a securely attached child welcomes the parent positively.
The insecure styles ...
Though distressed if separated from parent or caregiver, the infant seems to feel no relief in the parent's return and may show hostility toward the parent. For the avoidant-insecure attached child, they tend to avoid parents. While they do not reject attention from parents, they also do not seek comfort from parents whenever scared or frightened. The avoidant-insecure attached child seems to have no preference between a stranger and the parent.
On the other hand, the disorganized-insecure attached child seems to have a mixed reaction to their parents or caregiver that includes avoidance and resistance. Here, the child appears to show a hesitant or unsure behavior towards the parent or caregiver. After separation, the child probably might seek contact with the parent but will resist the comfort given by the parent. The child's confusing behavior could be caused by a parent being both a fear and reassurance figure to a child.
While children do develop styles of attachment at infancy, there are a great many possibilities in how he behaves at adulthood. Ainsworth (1989) stresses in her research that "one must be alert on the fact that key changes in the nature of attachment may be occasioned by hormonal, neurophysiological, and cognitive changes and not merely by socioemotional experience" Here, Ainsworth extended the attachment theory throughout the life cycle to consider the developmental changes in children's attachment style towards parents or surrogate figures and other affectional bonds that he may develop towards others later in life.
In another research by Bartholomew and Horowitz (1991), they proposed a new 4-group model of attachment styles at adulthood. Through ...Show more

Summary

Compared to other groups of children, foster children are the most vulnerable. The majority of foster children are removed from their homes due to neglect and abuse (physical, mental, sexual) from their parents or caregivers. When the causes of maltreatment are looked into, Belsky (1993) says in his article that there is "no shortage of causal agents" that is raised to give explanations on why such abuse and neglect happens to a child.
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Childrens Attachment Styles essay example
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