Attachment (psychology)

Attachment (psychology)

In attachment theory psychology, attachment is a product of the activity of a number of behavioral systems that have proximity to a person, e.g. a mother, as a predictable outcome.cite book | last = Bowlby | first = John | title = Attachment and Loss: Vol I, 2nd Ed. | publisher = Basic Books | pages = xvi-xvii, 172-73 | year = 1999 | id = ISBN 0-465-00543-8] The concept of there being an "attachment" behavior, stage, and process, to which a growing person remains in proximity to another was developed beginning in 1956 by British developmental psychologist John Bowlby. According to Bowlby, the concept of proximity attachment has its origins in Charles Darwin's 1856 "Origin of Species", which "sees instinctive behavior as the outcome of behavioral structures that are activated by certain conditions and terminated by other conditions", Sigmund Freud's 1905 "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality" and his 1915 "Instincts and their Vicissitudes", which according to Bowlby "postulates part-instincts, differentiates the aim of an instinct, namely the conditions that terminate instinctive behavior, and its function, and notes how labile are the objects towards which any particular sort of instinctive behavior is directed”, and Konrad Lorenz's 1937 theory of imprinting. The 2001 book "The Ontogeny of Human Bonding Systems" by research psychiatrist Warren B. Miller and academic psychologist Joseph L. Rodgers offers an alternative approach to Bowlby, based on social bonding theory. [Miller, W.B. & Rodgers, J.L. (2001). "The Ontogeny of Human Bonding Sysytems: Evolutionary Origins, Neural Bases, and Psychological Manifestations". New York: Springer. ISBN 0-7923-7478-9.]

Attachment theory is concerned with the bond that develops between child and caretaker and the consequences this has for the child's emerging self-concept and developing view of the socialworld. Bowlby's theory (1969, 1973, 1980), which was the first formal statement of attachment theory, is an evolutionary-ethological approach (Ainsworth et al., 1978). According to this view, infant attachment behaviors are controlled by a distinct, goal-corrected behavioral system, which has a "set goal" of maintaining proximity to a nurturing adult and a biological function of promoting the child's security and survival (Bowlby, 1969)

Behavior analysts have done extensive research on attachment (see Child development) and in particular the role of and importance of contingency. This research supports the notion of attachment as operant based learning [Dunst, C.J. & Kassow, D.Z. (2008). Caregiver Sensitivity, Contingent Social Responsiveness, and Secure Infant Attachment. "Journal of Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention, 5(1)," 40-56 [ link BAO] ]

ee also

*Attachment theory


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