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Ayomide Olubummo 12Ta

Evaluation of Bowlby theory of attachment.

Bowlbys theory has is the major theory of attachment and is useful because it
greatly helps the understanding of why we form attachments as the theory is
relatively easy concept to understand. Bowlbys theory is stimulating and has
generated a great deal of research which is an positive feature of any theory.
Bowlbys theory has also had an immense impact on the emotional care of young
The continuity hypothesis is supported by the Minnesota research by Sroufe. The
longitudinal study observed a group of people from the age of 12 to adolescence
and found that the children classifies as securely attachment grew up to be more
self-confident and socially competent. These results suggest that we continue to
exhibit the behaviours formed form initially in later life. Sroufes research also
supported the internal working model because it showed that the securely
attached individuals from a template from the sensitive caregivers behaviour.
Hazan and Shavers love quiz also provided evidence that validated Bowlby
proposed idea of continuity as they found securely attached infant were more
likely to form happy long lasting relationships
However Kagans temperament hypothesis suggests that the temperament
(personality) of the child determined the future development as opposed to the
sensitivity of the caregiver as the internal working model would suggest. Kagans
theory is further backed up by Belsky and Rovine who found that infant who
shake at birth develop insecure attachment and display low self-confidence
regardless of the sensitivity of the caregiver which suggest that the internal
working model is not the only way an infant gets a template for future
relationships as Bowlby would suggest but rather the natural temperament of the
child would determine the future relationships formed.
Bowlbys proposed idea of the critical period is supported by research form
Lorenz who invested imprinting within ducks and found that the duck has to
imprint within a set period of time or else they couldnt, which is related to
humans in Bowlbys theory that humans have to form primary attachment during
a set period of time. However this is criticised because Lorenzs study with birds
cannot be generalised to humans. Similarly Rutler et al study with abandoned
and orphaned infant found that attachment could still be formed outside the
critical period set by Bowlby. However they also found that infant who formed
attachment outside the critical period has lower progress than those who didnt
which suggest the period is sensitive rather than critical because it is best to
form attachment within that period however not vital.
Quinton also found that lack of primary attachment formed in the critical period
was not critical as Bowlby would suggest, Quinton believed a poor start could be
overcome by good experience with friends and school.
Schaffer and Emerson found that some of the infant hadnt formed a primary
attachment but formed multiple attachments which disputes the idea of
monotropy suggested by Bowlbys theory of attachment. Similarly Lamb believed
that infants didnt form a primary attachment as Bowlbys theory suggest but
formed multiple attachment which suited different purposes which suggests are
not formed in a hierarchy but are all of equal strength and importance.