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Abstract Advocates of attachment theory propose that it is our earliest relationships and attachments that have the greatest bearing on our development into adult life Research suggests that the kind of attachments we experience in childhood influence our development as adults A qualitative textual analysis was conducted on two edited extracts from interviews with a married couple This qualitative report aims to show if and how their early experiences of separation and attachment have a bearing on their understanding of who they are as adults Introduction John Bowlby is credited with formulating the first concise theory of attachment In the late 1940s He believed that having secure attachments affords infants a secure base from which to explore fully the world around them whilst providing a source of comfort and guidance He states that it is essential to mental health that an infant or young child should experience a warm intimate and continual environment with its mother Bowlby 1953 p6 Without these attachments research conducted by Goldfarb 1947 on children living in institutions has suggested that infants have found it difficult to form relationships and this has led to further problems both emotionally and socially in their development as an adult At the heart of Bowlbys theory of attachment is the establishment of the internal working model Bowlby 1969 this being a combination of the beliefs the child has formed of itself and its relationship with its mother usually the primary caregiver and a critical time period for these attachments to form usually from six months to two and a half years Bowlby 1951 A childs internal working model is rooted in its early experiences with its primary caregivers Bowlby argues that if these are positive experiences the child will have a strong healthy model of others being responsive
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