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The theory of attachment was originally developed by John Bowlby 1907 - 1990 Bowlby was a British psychoanalyst who was attempting to understand the intense distress experienced by infants who had been separated from their parents Bowlbys first formal statement of the attachment theory building on concepts from ethology and developmental psychology was presented to the British Psychoanalytic Society in London in three now classic papers The Nature of the Childs Tie to His Mother 1958 Separation Anxiety 1959 and Grief and Mourning in Infancy and Early Childhood 1960 According to Bowlby infants have an innate tendency to become attached to one particular individual This was referred to as monotropy During his research Bowlby observed how infants who became separated from their primary caregiver such as its mother would go to extraordinary lengths to either prevent separation from or to restore contact with that caregiver Behaviours such as crying clinging and frantic searching were expressed by the infants and observed by Bowlby At the time psychoanalytic writers believed that these expressions were immature defence mechanisms used to repress emotional pain However Bowlby noted that such expressions are common to a wide variety of mammals and speculated that these behaviours may serve an evolutionary function Influenced by the ethological studies Bowlby proposed that these behaviours also known as social releasers were adaptive responses to separation from a primary attachment figure - a person who provides support protection and care Human infants like other mammal infants are unable to feed or protect themselves They are therefore dependent upon the care and protection of older and wiser adults The central belief to an infants healthy development is the need for a committed care giving relationship with one or a few adult figures However Bowlby continuously emphasized the role of the female parent and had argued that fathers play a minor part during a childs infancy Additionally he argued that the fathers prime role is to provide
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