Stages of attachment


Outline Schaffer and Emerson's study

Aims: to study the formation of early attachments.

Sample: 60 infants from working class families in Glasgow

Methodology: interviewed parents in their own homes about separation anxiety and stranger anxiety. Self-report.

Results: at 25-32 weeks, 50% showed separation anxiety. At 40 weeks, 80% had specific attachments and 30% had multiple attachments.

Conclusions: infants form attachments in a four-stage process. The primary attachment figure doesn't have to be the primary caregiver - it is whoever gave the highest-quality communication with the infant. 65% was biological mother.

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Evaluate Schaffer and Emerson's study

Challenging monotropy - Bowlby and Rutter, 29% within 1 month

Biased sample - population validity and temporal validity, 1960s, 4x more s.a.h. dads, one social group

Unreliable data - self report, social desirability bias

Cultural variations - Sagi et al, 2x stronger attachmetns in individualist cultures, not applicable to collectivist

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