Attachment Theory #1
SITE : QUIZ – re. Love & Attachment
The three emotion (E) regulation & coping strategies >>problem, emotion & avoidance -focused << are the source of many interesting cognitive (T) & behavioral (A) outcomes discovered in people with different attachment styles.
Different patterns in children’s attachment styles or orientations in adults —> reflect different ways of regulating affect (observable manifestations of emotion), particularly the way painful emotions in especially challenging or threatening situations are controlled or dampened.
◎ More Securely attached adults usually experience more intense & mildly pleasant emotions in romantic relationships, fewer intense & mildly uncomfortable emotions ……
◉ ……. whereas the reverse is true of the more insecurely attached.
In one study students classified as insecure (anxious-avoidant or anxious-resistant) were rated by teachers as less socially competent during early elementary school.
⁍ Similarly, teens rated as insecurely attached were seen to have lower social competence when interacting with their same-sex friends at age 16…..
⁍ …… which in turn predicts both feeling & expressing unhappy / painful emotions in romantic relationships when in their early 20s.
Conceptual Models = WHO qualifies as an ATT figure
▪︎ Monotropy – that the main ATT figure (usually the mother) has an exclusive impact on children’s personality development
▪︎ Hierarchy – Adds that relationships with subsidiary ATT figures (like the father) may also contribute, although to a lesser extent. However, since the 1960s fathers‘ contribution to child development is increasingly recognized
▪︎ Independence – all ATT relationships are assumed to be equally important
▪︎ Integration – the quality of all ATT relationships, taken together as a whole, is what optimally predicts children’s developmental outcomes
🚼 Sensitivity Hypothesis = HOW is ATT transmitted from from one generation to the next?
Theory : the assumption is that once a certain attachment style has been formed in early life, it remains relatively stable throughout, & is then transmitted from one generation to the next. The main variable of this transmission emphasizes parental / maternal sensitivity.
However, the amount of variance evident in families indicates there are many other variables moderate it, called the ‘transmission gap’
🚼 Competence Hypothesis = Secure is good, Insecure is bad
Theory : an early Secure attachment is a prerequisite for healthy emotional & social development, necessary to become a competent child, adolescent & adult.
Competence includes the ability to understand & regulate the expression of emotions – individually & in response to others. It’s associated with better well-being, life satisfaction & higher self-esteem, & can ease cognitive tasks.
However, while starting life with an insecure ATT can represent a risk factor for developing mental health, it’s no longer assumed to inevitably produce negative outcomes.
🚼 Universality Hypothesis = This is built on 3 assertions that :
— healthy attachment is facilitated through parental sensitivity
— secure attachment is normative
— healthy attachment leads to longitudinal competence.
Critics argue that contemporary attachment theory privileges a conception of child-rearing that is fundamentally based on family structures & societal conditions that ignore the cultural practices of most of the non-Western world.
🚼 Cross-cultural similarities vs differences = Theories have mainly been tested on people from western, educated, industrialized, rich & democratic societies – in short, “WIERD”(rare) cultures (scroll down).
However, now there are many implications of cross-cultural differences in ATT on various levels, having to do with moral judgments about good & bad parenting. EXP: a comparison of US versus Japanese values. Rothbaum et al
EXP: A study done in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya (pub 2021) of 2,400 households with children under 5. Researchers evaluated caregiver-child relationships in the routine home visits, using an adapted version of the Ainsworth “Strange Situation”.
RESULTS : Of the 2,560 children studied from July to December 2010, 2,391 (90.2%) were assessed as having a secure attachment with a parent or other caregiver, while only 259 (9.8%) were assessed as being at risk for having an insecure attachment.
NEXT : Attachment – INTRO #3