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The unborn child is dependent on the mother for all its nutritional needs via the placenta and umbilical cord In a similar way this dependency carries on after a child is born and its umbilical cord is cut and knotted The child needs someone to reattach itself to In the Oxford attachment is defined as affection or devotion Harlow discovered that love and affection may be primary needs that are just as strong as or even stronger than those of hunger or thirst Hock 1999 This need for love and affection is what the child seeks after the initial physical seperation from its biological mother How it finds this love after conception shapes its idea of love for adulthood This essay focuses heavily on the Attachment theory of Bowlby Harlows Discovering Love Experiments Harris discussion on The Bonding Theory and Ainsworths studies on attachment patterns Attachment refers to the strong emotional bond between two individuals usually between the child and the mother or primary care giver Louw Edwards 1997 The formation of this bond has proven essential for the healthy development of a child The process is a gradual one of learned recognition and recall of learned patterns of interaction with the significant other Harris 1991 Theorists believe that a lack of or absence of attachment leads to a wide range of related psychological problems in later life Harlows investigation with rhesus monkeys reinforces this theory His results later to be discussed in this essay demonstrated adverse affects on the infant through the inadequate social interaction and attachment formation between mother and child Attachment is also seen as an affectional tie that endures over time and space Bowlbys attachment theory advances a multi-disciplinary stance in which psychoanalysis is integrated with Ethology and sociobiology Psychobiology the cybernetic theory of control systems and modern structural approach to cognitive development Montuori Garelli 1997 These disciplines were first employed to understand the origin function
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