Maternal Attachment

“Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another, across time and space”. (Bowlby 1969 and Ainsworth 1973).

Attachment is an emotional bond to another person. The central theme of the attachment theory is that mothers or other primary caregivers, who are available and responsive to their infants needs, establish a sense of security. The infant then knows that the caregiver is dependable, which in turn creates a secure base for the child to then explore the world. Two researches have done more than anyone else to bring these theories to our attention these are John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth.
      John Bowlby formulated the basic tenets of the theory. He revolutionized our thinking about a child’s tie to the mother or caregiver, and its disruption through separation, deprivation and bereavement. Mary Ainsworth‘s methodology not only made it possible to test some of Bowlbys ideas, but also helped expand the theory itself. She is also responsible for some of the new directions that are taking place.
Psychologist John Bowlby was one of the first attachment theorists describing, attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings” (Bowlby 1969). He believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers, have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. It is a test-bed for all the other attachments that he or she will make throughout their lives.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Bowlbys theory is the concept of monotropy he believed that babies are programmed o develop a special attachment with one person and that person is usually the mother or another significant female. This relationship is fundamentally different to any other attachment and forms the basis of future relationships. Although Micheal Rutter (1981) strongly criticised Bowlbys concept of monotropy. He claimed that infants often show multiple attachments and often the primary...