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EXPLANATIONS OF ATTACHMENT: BOWLBY’S THEORY OF MONOTROPY Attachment – Lesson 6
Bowlby’s Theory of Monotropy Bowlby’s Theory is based around 6 key concepts: � Critical Period � Innate Programming � Internal Working Model � Monotropy � Proximity � Social Releasers ‘Cr-I-I-M-P-S’ In pairs, outline the concept you have been given As a table, agree a definition to put on Wall Whiteboards
Critical Period Bowlby borrowed the concept of the critical period from the work of Lorenz, who pointed to the rapid formation of attachments in animals. Bowlby believed that attachment between caregiver and an infant should not be disrupted before the age of 2 ½ and that if attachments hadn’t been formed by this age then they would have difficulty forming them.
Innate Programming Bowlby believed that attachment is innate or inborn. Attachment behaviours then are biologically programmed into a baby from birth to help them to survive, so infants have an innate drive to survive.
Internal Working Model The relationship you have with your key caregiver forms a mental representation or a model for what relationships are like. It can therefore have a powerful effect on the nature of a child’s future relationship and their ability to be a parent themselves. Secure child= Adults who are socially and emotionally competent in relationships so are more likely to have successful relationships
Monotropy The idea that infants have one special bond normally with the biological mother and that this relationship is special and more important than any other. He believed that if it wasn’t the biological mother then a female substitute would do.
Proximity Seeking closeness to the caregiver for evolutionary ‘survival’ reasons Biological pre-programmed
Social Releasers Social releasers are important for the development of parent-infant interaction as they elicit care-giving from the parent. Social releasers are innate mechanisms because children do these instinctively and parents are meant to react to them without thinking! Now you'll see a clip showing how social releasers work.
Evaluation of Bowlby’s Theory Using material we have already covered, what studies could you use to support or contradict Bowlby’s findings?
Evaluation of Bowlby’s Theory Supporting Evidence: Harlow (1962) Harlow’s findings support the concepts of innate programming and Monotropy because the monkey instinctively sought to be close to one specific mother monkey. It also supports the idea of the internal working model - monkey’s didn’t form adequate attachments and relationships as an infant monkey so went onto become a bad mothers, suggesting that the monkey didn’t know how to look after infants
Evaluation of Bowlby’s Theory Evidence to support: Hazan and Shaver (1987) discovered that infants who had been securely attached when children went on to have happy, lasting and trusting relationships as adults, yet insecurely attached infants had less successful adult relationships. This evidence supports the internal working model. Bailey (2007) also supports the idea of the internal working model being passed through families as 99 mothers with one year old babies who when interviewed reported having poor attachments to their own parents were more likely to be classified as having a poor attachment with their own babies during observations.
Evaluation of Bowlby’s Theory Evidence to contradict: Evidence from Schaffer and Emerson (1964) which found that by 18 months old only 13% of the babies were attached to one person and many of the infants had as many as five attachment figures contradicts the idea of monotropy. Lamb (1982) found that infants had different attachments for different purposes rather than certain attachments being more important than others; fathers for play, mothers for comfort for example.
Evaluation of Bowlby’s Theory Economic Implications / Socially Sensitive Has led Mother’s to stay at home and still has a negative impact on mothers today. There is still the idea amongst some that mothers should not work. Erica Burman (1994) and other feminists state that it places a terrible burden of responsibility on mothers pushing them into particular lifestyle choices and placing the blame on them if anything goes wrong in a child’s life. Further evidence however shows that good substitute care either in a nursery, the father or a family member does not have a detrimental effect on social development and so a mother can happily return to work after having a child and remain economically active contradicting Bowlby’s theory.
Progress check 1. Name the six key features of Bowlby’s Monotropic theory 2. How does the internal working model link to adult relationships? 3. Describe what a social releaser is and give two examples of them 4. At what age was Bowlby’s critical period? 5. What is Monotropy? 6. Which parts of Bowlby’s Monotropic theory does Harlow’s monkey study support? 7. Schaffer and Emerson contradict Bowlby’s theory because the found that what % of children had only one attachment figure after 18 months. 8. How is it thought that Bowlby’s theory has a negative impact on mothers? 9. In Baileys study how many mothers were studied and how old were their babies? 10. Name two pieces of research that support Bowlby’s
Answers… Critical period Innate programming Internal working model Monotropy Proximity Social releasers It believes that the internal working model a child develops effects future relationships, so a child securely attached as a child will go on to have secure adult relationships Innate mechanisms that elicit caregiving behaviours in adults e. g. crying, smiling, laughing, big eyes, round faces, being cute. 2 ½ years old One special emotional bond with normally with mother that is more important than any other. Innate programming, Monotropy, Internal working model. 13% At the time it led to the idea that mothers needed to stay at home and so it was frowned upon if they worked and feminists argue that the idea still impacts on women today and blames them if anything goes wrong with the child. 99 mothers, 1 year old babies Harlow, Hazan and Shaver, Bailey 22/24 hours Supports monotropy and innate programming
Essay Template Complete the comparison essay template
Independent Work No lesson next week (10 th March) The lesson will be concessioned Managers Away Day Complete Ainsworth’s Strange Situation Flip Pack Psych 205>Linear A level>Paper 1>Attachment for video clip