Attachment SAQs

Takahashi (1990) replicated Ainsworth’s strange situation technique in Japan with the aim of investigating cross-cultural differences in attachment. Takahashi wanted to know if the results Ainsworth found in the USA were the same in Japan, thus showing if there was a cultural difference. Takahashi found that 70 per cent of Japanese children were securely attached, replicating Ainsworth’s findings.

However, compared with Ainsworth’s findings that 22 per cent of infants were Avoident-insecure, and a further 12 per cent Resistant-insecure, Takahshi found that no infants were classified as avoidant-insecure and 31 per cent were classified as resistant-secure. Similarly, Grossman also replicated the SST but this time in Germany, as opposed to Japanese, the SST in Germany showed a large number of avoidant-insecure children and very few-resistant insecurely attached children. In both experiments the findings showed roughly 70% securely attached children and 30% insecure.

Scaffer and Emerson conducted a study of the development of attachments in order to investigate the way in which infant’s behaviours change over time. Ainsworth and Bell devised a method called the strange situation technique (SST) in which 100 middle-class American infants and their mothers took part. A method of controlled observation was developed as follows: Mother and child introduced to a room (in which child can investigate toys); Stranger enters room; Mother leaves room; Mother returns; Mother and stranger leave child alone; Stranger returns; Mother returns and stranger leaves.

Ainsworth and Bell especially monitored separation anxiety, infant’s willingness to explore, stranger anxiety and reunion behaviour. The study was originally done in the USA and found that 66 per cent of infants were securely attached to their mother, and 30 per cent were insecurely attached. Ainsworth classified the insecurely attached infants into two types; Avoidant and Resistant. Avoidant-insecure contained 22 per cent of the infants and resistant, 12 per cent. Bowlby suggested that there was such a thing as the ‘internal working model’; blue print for future relationship’s.

The SST indicates child’s ability to form future relationships, seemingly accessing the internal working model. Scroufe found that securely attached children were rated more popular by their peers and that self-confidence, self-esteem and social competence were higher. The SST therefore has given very valuable insight into the effect that attachment has on future relationships. Ijzendoorn found a strong correlation between child’s attachment type and the Primary care giver’s (PCG) with their own PCG.

This conclusion has led to some parents being trained in how to form a secure relationship’s with their own children, thus stopping history repeating itself. The strange situation therefore has a practical application. i. e. treating the cause before the effects. The SST has been criticised by people raising ethical issues of potential damage to participants, however it can be argued that the practical applications far outweigh the distress caused by a 15 minute experiment.

The SST has been criticised for being unable to identify cause and effect of attachment type and for putting too much enthesis on Mother’s sensitivity as the cause for attachment type while ignoring other factors. Kegan and Belsky suggested and showed that there were innate differences in responsiveness in new born children in which mother’s sensitivity could have played no part. The SST does not take into account that infants maybe attached to different people in different ways.


Attachment is a strong bond formed between infant and caregiver. It provides safety and is an asset in terms of the infant’s survival. This bond causes a strong sense of depression when the two individuals are apart and an equal …

What has Psychological Research told us About the Development and Variety of Attachment Behaviour in Infants? Evaluate Two Studies in Terms of Methodology and Ecological Validity. Two key investigations into attachment development in infants are the study conducted by Schaffer …

The development of attachment relationships between children and parents represents one of the most important aspects of human social and emotional development. Depending on the degree or nature of the initial developing relationship, a child’s personality and/or social experiences can be …

John Bowlby (1907-90), who was one of the leading psychologists in childcare believes, when a baby is born it is important for it to form a close bond to someone to ensure its survival. The need for warmth safety and …

David from Healtheappointments:

Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out