Attachment Theory

Attachment theory has been used as a framework for investigating maternal–child relationships across a wide variety of contexts. The theory, credited to psychoanalyst John Bowlby, suggests that mother–child relationships create a relatively stable working model for all relationships that stays intact throughout a person’s life and that infants are engaged in soliciting the attention of adults, playing a role in developing a connection with a caregiver in order to ensure that the caregiver attends to them. Mary Ainsworth’s Strange Situation experiment, which was designed to measure and categorize attachment, made the theory one that has been easy to investigate among a wide variety of caregivers, including children of different ages and caregivers of varying types (mothers and fathers, nonparental caregivers, childcare providers in institutional settings ...

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