Bowlby's Ethological Theory of Attachment

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Bowlby’s Ethological Theory of Attachment

The father of attachment theory John Bowlby states that “Attachment is an integral part of human nature from the cradle to the grave” (Lifespanlearn, 2009). In John Bowlby’s ethological theory of attachment, attachment is seen as a strong connection to the caregiver as a way to promote survival of self, the species as a whole and competence. Berk 2010 details a four stage process from birth to 2 years in which infants develop this strong bond (Berk, 2010).
The first phase titled the preattacment phase is from the age range of birth to 6 weeks. In this initial phase, Bowlby points out that several things take place to bring babies into close contact with their caregiver. These activities include grasping smiling crying and gazing into the adult’s eyes. The continuation of these activities over time develop a true affectionate bond with their caregiver and from birth to 6 weeks babies can identify the voice and smell of their mother however they do not yet have a since of attachment to her. This lack of attachment is identified by the fact that they will be held by other adults freely (Berk, 2010).
The next phase of attachment is the attachment in the making phase and is the phase of attachment development from age 6 weeks to 6-8 months. During this stage, infants develop a since of trust. They recognize that their own actions have a direct correlation to behavior of those around them. They maybe comforted easily by their caregiver or may interact with them a little more freely than a stranger however they do not object when separated from their caregiver (Berk, 2010).
The third stage of Bowlby’s attachment theory, is called the clear cut attachment phase. This step notably marks the baby’s development of separation anxiety however it does not always happen. Even though there are variances in it’s occurrences, it…...

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