Psychology - stages of attachment

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  • Schaffer and Emerson - Stages of attachment
  • Schaffer and Emerson's conducted their "Glasgow Babes" study, with 60 babies from working class families in Glasgow in 1964. From the results of this, they formed the "Stages of attachment" theory, with four stages.
  • Asocial Stage (0-6 weeks old)
  • Indiscriminate attachments (6 weeks – 6 months)
  • Specific (7 months +)
  • This is where very young infants are asocial
  • Multiple (10/11 months +)
  • Infants enjoy human company and most can even respond equally to their care giver. They can become very upset if they're not interacted with. At around 3 months, infants can normally smile and be comfortable with a regular care giver.
  • This is where there is a special preference for one particular care giver as the infant looks to this person for comfort and protection. At this point, the infant begins to show fears and anxiety these are usually in the form of separation anxiety and stranger anxiety. Some infants show this more than others but a sign of anxieties is a sign of attachment.
  • The infants become more and more independent and form several attachments (at 18 months old, this has happened to the majority of infants.) Schaffer and Emerson's study suggests that infants are most likely to form attachments o those who respond to their signals as opposed to those that they spend the most time with. Infants that were very attached to their caregivers, c had caregivers that reacted quickly to their signals.
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