Stages of Attachment

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  • Asocial Stage
  • I love you equally
  • Indiscriminate Attachments
  • You're not my mum but I'm not scared of you!
  • Specific Attachments
  • Don't go, I'm scared of this strange man!
  • I'm leaving you with Dave!
  • 0-6 weeks old Similar responses to objects and people Don't prefer specific people to others but rapidly learn to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar people
  • Multiple Attachments
  • I'm attached to you all and I'm not scared of anyone!
  • 6 weeks-7 months old More socially able and can tell people apart Prefer people to inanimate objects No separation or stranger anxiety Indiscriminate attachment behaviour (no strong preference for certain people) and comforted by anyone
  • 7 months old Show separation and stranger anxiety Form specific primary attachment to person who is most sensitive to their signals and looks to specific people for security, comfort and protection Uses familiar adults as secure base
  • 18 months old Multiple attachments occur soon after the first attachment is made, showing several attachment behaviours to different people (grandparents, siblings)- secondary attachments Fear of strangers response begins to weaken
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