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Implications of connection theory for adolescent development

Attachment is one of the very most interesting and researched mental health theories in the present day time. Exhaustive research has spanned 50 years and goes on.

The summary of attachment theory is the fact it provides a conclusion of behavior exhibited by a child with regards to their attachment physique (caregiver). This relationship is emotionalised the greatest during the incidences of parting and reunion. The theory relates behaviours of connection from the "attacher" to the "attachee" that occur during infancy. These parts in child years mould our relationships in adolescents and adulthood and have implications for one's all natural development.

Over time, many differing ideas have arisen regarding Connection theory. Bowlby and Ainsworth's theory associated with attachment produced in infancy patterns the attachment achieved in adulthood has received criticism from other mental health pioneers.

Harris and Kagan present another type of view to that of Bowlby. Harris thinks too much emphasis is positioned on how a kid is brought up. The pressure is applied to parents, it is unfair and unwarranted. Harris is convinced that peers with the environment mould a child's personality, not only early connection. Kagan theorises that biological factors play the biggest role in development especially regarding the child. This theory was borne out of his prior proven fact that personality traits are inherent in to the infant, not only the creation of your respective environment.

Due to the background required the sufficiently make clear attachment theory, I have opted to present the opinions expressed regarding attachment and adolescent development of Bowlby and Ainsworth first, utilising Harlow's monkey as a report example. Discussion regarding the viewpoint will observe. This section will be balanced with the rebuttal of attachment theory using Rutter's Romanian orphan research and further talk incorporating research conducted by Kagan and Harris. Both tips of view will be related back to the essay topic to regarding attachment theory finalizing any implications for adolescent development and developmental psychopathology.

It is assumed by some that connection occurs from beginning and remains frequent throughout the individual's lifetime. A susceptible newborn requires immediate good care and coverage, the provider of the care and attention becomes the shape of connection. Bowlby presumed that the relationship formed between the child and caregiver will condition the newborns personality, therefore also the adolescent and adult. Typically this bond occurs between mom and child within a few minutes of beginning. I intend to explore the theory that if a child experience an unsecure connection using their caregiver this will have implications because of their adolescent development and psychopathology.

Harlows Monkeys

Harlow was famous, or some may say infamous regarding his study involving attachment and his subject matter Rhesus monkeys. The study involved the baby Rhesus monkeys being removed from their mothers. These were then divided into two distinct categories. The first group possessed a surrogate mother made of gentle terrycloth. This terrycloth mom however didn't provide any food. Also in the cage as well was another surrogate constructed from hard line, it provided food in the form of an attached container which contained milk. The next group was reversed they had a "wire" mother who didn't provide food and a terrycloth mother with a bottle attached. Results figured the baby monkeys in group one put in up to 17 time mounted on the terrycloth mom compared to lower than 1 hour with the cable mother. It had been summarised by Harlow that this is purely scheduled to requirement to feed to live. In the second group however they spend 100 per cent of the time with the cloth mother (Bpolnariev, 2007).

Irrespective of the stimulus used to frighten the monkeys, the response was to constantly flee to the comfort and security of the fabric mother. Although over time it was observed that as the monkeys matured this response reduced questionably marking the starting point of children. (Bpolnariev, 2007).

Motivation looked for from Harlow's original monkey studies aided in gaining momentum. Commencing from early on 1960, Harlow involved his students in a follow on research to see and article the monkeys reactions in response to incomplete and total public isolation. Within the first band of Partial isolation, monkeys were elevated in bare wire cages. This empowered them to activate all senses, however they were unable to get any physical contact. The next band of total isolation monkeys were increased in isolation cages that provided sensory deprivation and connection with other monkeys was forbidden (Harlow, Dodsworth & Harlow, 1965).

Harlow reported that the monkeys who had been subjected to partial isolation, exhibited excessive such as self-mutilation, bare staring and compulsive circling of their cages. A number of the monkeys continued to be held altogether isolation for up to 15 years (Reinhardt, Liss & Stevens, 1995). Regrettably the full total isolation subjects did not fair was well as the incomplete subjects. It had been discovered that these baby subjects had been kept isolated from between 3 months to 24 months. This provided a "total social deprivation" This experiment led to monkeys who exhibited an extreme degree of psychological disruption which continued to their monkey adolescence and adult years (Harlow, 1964).

Bowlby (1988) assumed that from labor and birth the child starts off forming an interior pattern relating to people, often you start with the infant's parents. This experience routine lays the foundations to how that individual will relate to others. This early on connections provided by caregivers products children to organise their experience and relate it with their relationships (Laursen & Collins, 2004).

It has been noted that Allen and Land (1999) theorise that family goals require regular re-negotiation in order for the family product to be successful. This is really the case when related to the family device of an adolescent. Eventhough the adolescent may be securely attached to the family, it's important that goals are in sync with all the family members worried.

As the child develops which is exposed to more individuals than their parents, children will generate mental bonds with others close to them. The early romantic relationships between a father or mother and child do impact social development as they'll determine peer connections as well. However, the newly created peer human relationships differ from the relationships they experienced with their parents and family product (Freeman & Dark brown, 2001; Nickerson & Nagle, 2005). As the forming of peer relationships occur outside the family, this is important as it allows for the adolescent to improve their public development led by their friends (Savin-Williams & Berndt, 1990).

Waters, Wippman & Sroufe (1979) reported their conclusion, that the amount of attachment of children with their parents had immediate implications for the individual's peer interpersonal functioning in adolescents and adulthood. Nickerson and Nagle (2005) communicated that there are two very distinctive views regarding a person's connection to parents and peers. First of all if the child is in a parent-child marriage with tenuous connection they may get more secure human relationships to fill this desire. Secondly if the child is involved with a secure parent/child attachment, this might supply the security required for the child to search out different human relationships.

The long-term ramifications of the failing of childhood attachment have been described as severed and numerous. Bowlby attests that it's crucial for parents to attain and nurture a solid loving bond with the infants. If this connection isn't formed then these children will go through a number of emotional, sociable and developmental troubles as they improve into adolescence. Consequences may include developmental delay relating to difficulties with auditory control, verbal communication impairment and gross engine deficits. Conscience impairment may manifest with mental numbing eg. Adolescent displays no symptoms of anxiousness after witnessing an function of hostility or cruel behaviour. Adolescents may well not display indications of guilt but often will task blame onto others. Other deficits nominated include, destroyed self esteem, poor impulse control, impaired social interactions and non reversible cognitive issues (Fahlbert & Arbor, 1979).

Attachment theory embodies the seriousness that early on life emotional bonding places with regards to all future connections. Obviously for some babies, parents have the best level of responsibility as the body of one's connection. Of the study presented it offers highlighted the need for the adolescent to obtain been exposed to a secure mother or father/child romance. If it has occurred then it is expected that their motion through maturity should be clean. Noting the opposite to be true if deficits of attachment occurred in infancy, therefore placing serious implications for the children development and psychopathology as Harlow's adolescent monkeys highlighted.

Contrary to the prior point of review regarding attachment having an implication for adolescent development and developmental psychopathology, other significant psychological analysts have theorised that secure connection in infancy will not shape adolescent development and psychopathology.

Romanian orphan study

Romanian orphans were the concentrate of review when the countries dictator, Nicolae Ceaucescu was overthrown from electric power by the end of 1989. President Ceaucescu got developed and enforced the necessity that all women in Romania were to have 5 children, abortion and contraception were banned. Due to economic burden 5 dependant children already located with an already "poor" family, an explosion of up to 40, 000 children were surrendered by their families and placed in state run orphanages. Appalling conditions of the orphanages were beamed worldwide by the advertising. Millions of visitors from worldwide were still left in a state of great shock. Many children were found attached jointly in cots, malnourished and soiled. Usually the orphans had never been kept or touched in their brief lives (Rutter, 1996).

Rutter and his team of experts adopted the ongoing pathological and mental health development of 111 orphans who was simply adopted into British isles families. Results indicated that at the age of 4 years the band of adopted children exhibited no significant ongoing developmental or intellectual impairment. IQ degrees of the orphans had increased from 63 to 107. Even children implemented after six months experienced a doubling of the IQ scores (Rutter, 1996). Lots of the adoptees stay to subject matter of ongoing review, more recently the impact that severe early on deprivation is wearing the adolescent. "Although higher rates of atypical insecure attachment patterns were found compared to native delivered or early adopted examples, 70% of later implemented children didn't exhibit designated or severe attachment disorder behaviours".

Rutter (1996) quoted that "Many have argued that early on activities have lifelong effects on the child's development, and are difficult to alter. Our analysis of Romanian orphans implemented by families in britain will not support that. On the other hand, neither does the research support those who claim that contemporary experiences are all that matter".

To keep on with this theory, experts and critics of Bowlby's attachment theory, Jerome Kagan and J. R Harris lifted their concerns in the 1990's of the simpleness of Bowlby's idea. Kagan was famous for opposing almost every theoretical aspect that made Bowlby's connection theory. Kagan's biggest discussion was that one's heredity was of more importance than ones early environment. Simply this translates to Aspect versus nurture theory which is still a subject of great controversy. It targets the importance of a person's innate characteristics versus personal activities (Kagan, 2004). The example provided by Kagan was, that if a kid processed a particularly difficult temperament, it would be improbable that the father or mother would give a sensitive respond to the bad behavior. By personality, Kagan believed that can be an individual's personality eg. Extrovert or introvert, these features cannot be learned; they may be innate (Kagan, 2004). The opinions performed by Kagan led to exhaustive research and argument. Further research have conclude that a child's attachment style was dependant on the caregiver's behavior, considering of individual's character (Kagan, 2004).

Harris like Kagan believes that a child's personality or identity is not moulded by their parents, rather it is genetics. The common belief performed in psychology is the fact "nature gives parents your baby: the outcome depends on that they nurture it. Good nurturing can make up for many of nature's mistakes: insufficient nurturing can trash nature's best work" (Harris, 1998). Harris emphatically disagrees with this concept, as the word "nuture" shouldn't only summarize the environment. In response Harris coined the word nurture assumption to combine all influences located on a child's development eg. Genetics & parental care and attention. The example being, identical twins segregated at birth and raised in different homes by different parents. Studies have shown that in most cases both twins promote the same pastimes and behaviors. This illustrates the value of nature, but not nurture (Harris, 1998).

Influence from the peer group is much larger than the child's parents. A good example being the children of recent immigrants, Children grasp and learn their new dialect easily, but at home continue steadily to speak in their parents indigenous tongue. The peer group will provide guidance regarding accent and grammatics and the kid will adjust appropriately in order to assimilate with the group. The parents on the other hands aren't exposed to this group creation therefore will continue steadily to have an highlight (Harris, 1998). Peer categories can provide both negative and positive influences on the child. In the case of child who's raised in an area prolific with crime and gang connection, peer pressure may steer that young person into a life of criminal offense. This bears no regards to the grade of the parenting they received. But if that same person is relocated to a location of little criminal offense no negative peer affect then the final result is very different (Harris, 1998). Harris theory concludes with the concern that there has been an over-exaggeration placed on the impact of parents, as peer organizations are accountable for the child's socialisation not their parents (Harris, 1998).

When the aforementioned discussion is put on Rutter's studies, it is understandable that many trust his results regarding that the infant's parting from familiar people is merely one of many factors that help to determine the quality of development. Rutter's work has aided in reassuring the populace that no matter how dire or unsecured the connection of an infant is, the newborn gets the potential to return to a normal level of working so long as they become attached. Harris and Kagan concur that personality traits result from their genes and are not dependant of the amount of nurturing they received from other parents.

The above has provided understanding regarding attachment not being set, thus presenting a point of view where connection theory may well not have any implications for both adolescent development and developmental psychopathology.

After researching and critiquing the idea of attachment theory and marrying it with its critics. I've discovered that there are two defined restrictions both which provide understanding into newborn/child/adolescent development. Personally i think that my view rests with the theories organised by both Harris and Kagan. I concur that the exaggeration of the result parents have on their children has been over emphasised for way too many years. Parents do not contain the key responsibility when put on the way their child develops. I concur that the parents are in charge off their child's genetic make-up and overall development influence. The concept of peer group influencing the child's personality provided information as the peer group enforces what's deemed acceptable.

Attachment theory does indeed contain limitations that want further exploration. It is assumed that the mom is the child's number of primary connection, this assumption can be fake. Bowlby's theories can lack element and have been criticised for being too simplistic. As the example below illustrates;

"Observation of what sort of very young child behaves towards his mom, both in her presence and especially in her absence, can add greatly to your knowledge of personality development. When taken off the mom by strangers, small children act in response usually with great depth; and after reunion with her, stress and anxiety or else different detachment" (Bowlby, 1969).

In this modern day with blended households, parents employed fulltime, children enrolled into childcare, it isn't as simplistic to be subjected to "mother". The opportunities for mother to be emotionally designed for their newborn is not as immediately accessible as yesteryear. Pressures on time and lifestyle can leave little opportunity for mother to spend the imperative time required to assure a secure attachment is obtained.

After critiquing all the research, each of them support one common notion, that being for an adolescent to have an uneventful and fruitful adolescence, all will reap the benefits of being nurtured as individuals and caregivers need to adjust to the nuances of the children.

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