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Attachment is generally considered to be an emotional bond or strong affectionate ties to a companion For the purposes of this paper attachment will refer to the primary attachment formed between an infant and hisher primary caregiver It is maintained that a healthy primary attachment relationship is an essential element the in the emotional and psychological development of the infant and that the formation of the attachment will provide the infant with a base from which to judge and react to situations throughout life It has thus been suggested that the quality of the attachment relationship of the infant will predict later behaviour however evidence concerning later developmental outcomes is mixed and must be clarified Ainsworth Bell and Stayton 1971 found individual differences in infant attachment relationships and proposed that these differences are crucial in development of the child Mary Ainsworth and her colleagues devised a test called the strange situation to measure the quality of an infants attachment relationship to hisher primary caregiver This consists of 8 short episodes which attempt to simulate events that would take place in the process of normal living Through these the experimenter observes the infantcaregiver interaction the infants reaction to separation with the primary caregiver and the infants reaction to strangers Ainsworth asserted that infants display three types of attachment quality secure resistant insecure and avoidant insecure and found that generally about 65 of the population have secure attachments subject to culture More recently Main and Solomon 1990 have developed a fourth organised strategy of attachment termed disorganiseddisoriented attachment behaviour Infants in this classification display a mixture of resistant and avoidant behaviour Mary Main suggests it is a result of fearing their primary caregiver as it is prevalent among infants of abuse or difficult family circumstances Waters and Deane 1985 criticise the strange situation pointing out Ainsworth et al 1971 could not classify a reasonable portion of their subjects They propose the strange situation
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