Attachment – The Very Basics

At this point the textbook will flood you with references to case studies you haven’t covered and it can make you a little… ARGH. However, I promise not to! For the exam it is advised you learn a definition like this one:

“may be defined as an affectional tie that one person or animal forms between himself and another specific one – a tie that binds them together in space and endures over time.”

Give that as an answer and the marks will come rolling in! Well, 1 one of them. If you really want to impress the examiner say that it was said by Mary Ainsworth. So, is that all? Nope! Although it probably warrants another article I think that it is simply vital to learn these behaviors AND their examples:

Perhaps the most difficult of all. This is when a caregiver will try to include their child in everything that they do even if it isn’t necessary. A caregiver may ask a child to help with the washing up even though they are capable of it. You might ask an attractive girl to help you with your homework even if you can do it, but trust me. You just look thick.

These were identified by Maccoby (1980) and are generally accepted as the behaviors that show attachment. With these in mind I believe that this is a more accurate definition:

‘A close emotional relationship between two persons, characterised by mutual affection and a desire to maintain proximity.’

2 quotes from psychologists?! Examiners are gonna adore you.

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