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Review Ainsworth Attachment and Separation in One Year Olds

I need help reviewing the following article:

Ainsworth, M.S., & Bell, S.M. (1970). Attachment, exploration, and separation: Illustrated by the behavior of one-year olds in a strange situation. Child Development, 41(1), 49-67.

Following the structure:

- Agreement or disagreement with the authors' main position
- Summary of the main points and details of the experiment
- Support from the article or your text for your agreement or disagreement with the authors' position
- Suggest at least two different interventions that can be used to help children develop healthy attachments

In this article, the authors explain their specific views of how infants and caregivers establish attachment. They also explain the function of this attachment to future development. Build your arguments around these main points.

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Ainsworth and Bell

This 1970 article is tough to find in the academic databases because of its age (and I have access to all major databases) but I do know it and can help you put together a good summary and critique.

Here are the basics:

- Studying the nature of attachment behaviors in infants (12-18 months) is the ultimate purpose, and the behavior of these children is then connected to both styles of care and their future prospects.
- Infants were placed in a room with a one way mirror - the infants can then be seen from the outside, but they cannot see the experimenters (we already have an ethical issue here).
- About 100 middle class families used. (Only middle class - this might be a problem in general).
- During several 3-minute periods, the experimenters guaged the child's reactions at all the following stages of their situation:
1. Mother places the child in a strange environment and leaves
2. Infant is approached by a strange person (someone they have not met before)
3. The baby and this stranger are then left alone
4. Parent then returns
5. The parent leaves the baby alone again
6. the strange person comes back
7. Parent returns one more time.
- This was done for all 100 or so of the babies, and their reactions recorded.

Here's the upshot to the paper:

Ainsworth came up with elements of infant insecurity and one of infant security. This became basically standard in the literature after 1970. These are:
- Secure Attachment
- Resistance Attachment and
- Avoidance

Ainsworth (who died in 1999) created a new index of attachment behaviors sometimes called the Separation Index. It is still used today (so therefore, the paper, regardless of its problems, is taken as a 'classic' in the field even in 2012).

The parts of this are:
- Separation Anxiety (this was normal and to be expected at that age).
- Exploration (this was the 'secure' response)
- Anxiety with (or because of) a strange presence
- How the parent was seen upon his or her return. (this was the big one, since it told us about the nature ...

Solution Summary

The agreement or disagreement with the authors' main positions are discussed.

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