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The Development of Attachment and Affiliative Systems. The papers which resulted from this effort not only reflect a recent intensity of research in this area, but also highlight a mounting need for ask ing questions across disciplines and for integrating theories. The sponsor of the workshop was the Developmental Psychobiology Research Group DPRG of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Medical School, a group which itself is interdisciplinary and which has met regularly since to criticize research, ask questions, and discuss findings.

In , the Group was awarded an endowment fund by the Grant Foundation after a request for a proposal initiated by Philip Sapir and Douglas Bond. The aims of this fund are to facilitate the research of young investigators, to encourage new research, and to provide seed money for collaborative ventures. Much of what is reported here results from that support. Thus, happily, not only are the contributions timely by virtue of converging on an important topic, but they also commemorate more than five years of Grant Foundation support.

Once the topic was chosen, a small number of guests were invited to participate. The papers of Timiras, Sackett, Konner, and Lamb represent dif fering perspectives from neurobiology, primatology, cultural anthropology, and social psychology. Animal Models in Developmental Psychobiology.

Some Previous Efforts to Define Temperament.

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Temperament and Attachment. The previous ones Research results weren't published further and got like the relationship theory into oblivion in the DDR in the subsequent years. In the s, problems with the emphasis on attachment as a trait a stable characteristic of an individual rather than as a type of behaviour with important organising functions and outcomes, led some authors to consider that "attachment as implying anything but infant-adult interaction [may be said to have] outlived its usefulness as a developmental construct This way of thinking saw the secure base concept the organisation of exploration of an unfamiliar situation around returns to a familiar person as "central to the logic and coherence of attachment theory and to its status as an organizational construct.

From an early point in the development of attachment theory, there was criticism of the theory's lack of congruence with the various branches of psychoanalysis. Like other members of the British object-relations group, Bowlby rejected Melanie Klein 's views that considered the infant to have certain mental capacities at birth and to continue to develop emotionally on the basis of fantasy rather than of real experiences. But Bowlby also withdrew from the object-relations approach exemplified, for example, by Anna Freud , as he abandoned the "drive theory" assumptions in favor of a set of automatic, instinctual behaviour systems that included attachment.

Bowlby's decisions left him open to criticism from well-established thinkers working on problems similar to those he addressed. Ethologists expressed concern about the adequacy of some of the research on which attachment theory was based, particularly the generalisation to humans from animal studies. Ethologists and others writing in the s and s questioned the types of behaviour used as indications of attachment, and offered alternative approaches. For example, crying on separation from a familiar person was suggested as an index of attachment.

Some ethologists pressed for further observational data, arguing that psychologists "are still writing as if there is a real entity which is 'attachment', existing over and above the observable measures. Robert Hinde expressed concern with the use of the word "attachment" to imply that it was an intervening variable or a hypothesised internal mechanism rather than a data term. He suggested that confusion about the meaning of attachment theory terms "could lead to the 'instinct fallacy' of postulating a mechanism isomorphous with the behaviours, and then using that as an explanation for the behaviour".

However, Hinde considered "attachment behaviour system" to be an appropriate term of theory language which did not offer the same problems "because it refers to postulated control systems that determine the relations between different kinds of behaviour. Bowlby's reliance on Piaget 's theory of cognitive development gave rise to questions about object permanence the ability to remember an object that is temporarily absent and its connection to early attachment behaviours, and about the fact that the infant's ability to discriminate strangers and react to the mother's absence seems to occur some months earlier than Piaget suggested would be cognitively possible.

In , Gewirtz discussed how mother and child could provide each other with positive reinforcement experiences through their mutual attention and therefore learn to stay close together; this explanation would make it unnecessary to posit innate human characteristics fostering attachment. Behaviourists saw behaviours such as crying as a random activity that meant nothing until reinforced by a caregivers response therefore frequent responses would result in more crying.

To attachment theorists, crying is an inborn attachment behaviour to which the caregiver must respond if the infant is to develop emotional security. Conscientious responses produce security which enhances autonomy and results in less crying. Ainsworth's research in Baltimore supported the attachment theorists view. These behaviour analytic models have received some support from research [48] and meta-analytic reviews. There has been critical discussion of conclusions drawn from clinical and observational work, and whether or not they actually support tenets of attachment theory.

For example, Skuse based criticism of a basic tenet of attachment theory on the work of Anna Freud with children from Theresienstadt, who apparently developed relatively normally in spite of serious deprivation during their early years. This discussion concluded from Freud's case and from some other studies of extreme deprivation that there is an excellent prognosis for children with this background, unless there are biological or genetic risk factors.

Some of Bowlby's interpretations of the data reported by James Robertson were eventually rejected by the researcher, who reported data from 13 young children who were cared for in ideal circumstances during separation from their mothers. Robertson noted, " Bowlby acknowledges that he draws mainly upon James Robertson's institutional data. But in developing his grief and mourning theory, Bowlby, without adducing non-institutional data, has generalized Robertson's concept of protest, despair and denial beyond the context from which it was derived. He asserts that these are the usual responses of young children to separation from the mother regardless of circumstance Some authors have questioned the idea of attachment patterns, thought to be measured by techniques like the Strange Situation Protocol.

Such techniques yield a taxonomy of categories considered to represent qualitative difference in attachment relationships for example, secure attachment versus avoidant. However, a categorical model is not necessarily the best representation of individual difference in attachment. An examination of data from month-olds showed that variation was continuous rather than falling into natural groupings. Following the argument made in the s that attachment should not be seen as a trait lasting characteristic of the individual , but instead should be regarded as an organising principle with varying behaviours resulting from contextual factors, [50] later research looked at cross-cultural differences in attachment, and concluded that there should be re-evaluation of the assumption that attachment is expressed identically in all humans.

Recent critics such as J. Harris , Steven Pinker and Jerome Kagan are generally concerned with the concept of infant determinism Nature versus nurture and stress the possible effects of later experience on personality.

Attachment theory

The debate spawned considerable research and analysis of data from the growing number of longitudinal studies. Harris and Pinker have put forward the notion that the influence of parents has been much exaggerated and that socialisation takes place primarily in peer groups, although H. Rudolph Schaffer concludes that parents and peers fulfill different functions and have distinctive roles in children's development. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

See also: Maternal deprivation. Main article: Attachment theory. New York: Guilford Press. Introducing Child Psychology.

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