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Attachment Styles Protective Factors

Attachment Styles
We have learned that attachment occurs due to safety needs, but what if these needs were not met? In this discussion, you will consider attachment styles and potential outcomes when conditions are not ideal for attachment, as well as the interaction between attachment styles and temperament.
Kandi is an 11-year-old girl who has lived in Centervale with a foster family, the Jacksons, for one month. She has been in foster care most of her life, having been removed from her biological parents' care at the age of 10 months. Kandi's parents were addicted to drugs and alcohol and Kandi spent most of her infancy in her crib or playpen, alone in her room. It is likely that Kandi was exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero. It is unknown whether, in addition to neglect, she was abused sexually or physically. These are possibilities given her parents' addictions and presence of multiple adults in her house at any given time.
Since Kandi's arrival, her foster parents have noted several behaviors that seem odd. Despite her sweet personality, Kandi loses her temper easily. She hugs people indiscriminately, while at the same time pushing others away. At times, Kandi avoids her foster mother or seems unconcerned with her not being in the room. At other times, she becomes very distraught and cries frantically when her foster mother goes to the laundry room. She has a difficult time interacting socially with the other children at Centervale Elementary and has only a few friends. At the same time, she clings to her teacher, constantly hugging her, and even trying to kiss her. Although she has been provided with toys, books, and games, Kandi collects odd things such as used staples or the rubber pieces left over from pencils.
Based on your analysis of the scenario, respond to the following:
o How would you explain the various attachment styles proposed by John Bowlby?
o Why is it important to understand attachment styles?
o What disruptions in attachment might be inferred from Kandi's behavior?
o Given her early isolation and multiple caregivers, what are some important social development stages or aspects that Kandi may have missed? Discuss concepts such as imitation, social reciprocity, and exploration.
o How might Kandi's temperament affect her development?
o What protective factors might help her?


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Various attachment styles proposed by John Bowlby:

John Bowlby developed theory of attachment whereby the provided that children exhibit attachment tendency to maintain proximity and control over an attachment figure. Kenny & Fleming (2009) provide that an attachment is a tie with an individual who provides security. In coming up with the theory, Bowlby observed that children in orphanages who were suffering from maternal and paternal deprivation (were missing family environment were susceptible to negative affective and cognitive consequences (Kenny & Fleming, 2009). The theory proposes that individuals have an attachment instinctive whereby they actively seek and maintain contact with the attachment figure and they attempt to control the attachment figure (Attachment, n.d).

Based on this foundation Bowlby came up with secure and insecure attachment styles and Levenson (2011) provides that there are three insecure styles that include preoccupied, dismissing and fearful. Each attachment style is developed based on an individualâ??s early life experiences with care givers. Secure attachment style occurs when a child feels cared for and sees themselves as valued thus develops a sense of security. Security occurs when the care giver is sensitive and responds to the childâ??s needs. According to Kenny & Fleming (2009), a child who feels more secure is confident to explore the environment.

On the other hand insecure attachment style is characterized by a child being avoidant, disorganized and anxious which are defensive strategies whereby the child attempts to maintain contact with care givers who are inconsistent and rejecting. Resistant insecure attachment is characterized by a child who is anxious and seeks attachment figure but struggle to get away. Avoidant insecure attachment occurs in children who ignore the presence of care givers. Disorganized insecure attachment is exhibited in children whose behavior is unpredictable.

Why it is important to understand attachment styles:

It is important to understand the attachment styles because individuals will behave differently based on the type of attachment style. Attachment behavior is exhibited throughout different ...

Solution Summary

Attachment styles protective factors are examined. How might Kandi's temperament affects her development is determined.