Attachment Theory

by Chelsea A. Harmon

Q: What is attachment?
A: defines attachment as:  a feeling that binds one to a person, thing,  cause, ideal, or the like; devotion; regard

Two leading psychologists in the field of child psychology, Bowlby and Ainsworth, define attachment as: a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space

Q: What is attachment theory?
A:  The developmental theory of attachment was published by John Bowlby in 1969 and was later progressed upon by a former student, Mary Ainsworth, in 1978.  Both Bowlby and Ainsworth used their observations of children to determine stages of attachment as well as types of attachment.  

An evolutionary theory of attachment was also created in 1969 by a researcher named Harry Harlow.  Harlow’s experiments with baby monkeys and “surrogate mothers” disproved the “cupboard theory” of attachment to caregivers and gave proof to a more intimate and loving attachment.  


              Harry Harlow               John Bowlby               Mary Ainsworth             

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