To What Extent Does Attachment Quality Determine a Childs Self Concept and Ability to Form Friendships”


My aim is to determine “To what extent does attachment quality determine a childs self concept and ability to form friendships”

There are 2 main perspectives to Child development and how children develop attachments these are known as empiricists and nativists theories. John Bowlby was a nativist and his theory of attachment forms the basis for the nativist argument:

The main principles of Bowlby’s theory are that:

Children need a close continuous relationship with their mothers for successful personality development and that the child must form an attachment by about 6 months of age; after that and until the age of 3 children strongly need to be close by their mothers and if this doesn’t happen then later in life the children will have difficulties forming relations or forming them with inappropriate people, He called these children “affectionless characters” Any obstacle   or disruption to forming this attachment constitutes maternal deprivation.

“Bowlby stated that a mother’s love is as important as vitamins and protein” This theory was supported by Mary Ainsworth and her experiment called “Strange situations”. This was an experiment carried out under controlled conditions to show what would happen when a mother/caregiver left her child in a room with a stranger and what the child’s reaction would be to both the stranger and also to the mother when she returned. Ainsworth concluded that there were 3 types of attachment. These are Secure (Type B attachment), Insecure-avoidant (Type A attachment) and finally Insecure-Ambivalent (Type C attachment).   Both of these theories are based on Reciprocity, this is Rudolph Schaeffer’s word for the way in which the mother responds to the behaviour of her baby and is influenced by it and the baby in turn is influenced by the mother’s behaviour these are the basis that the attachment is formed. The opposite of the nativist theories are the empiricists and they base their arguments and ideas around Watson,...