Attachment Approaches (5)
After Bowlby's findings there was a classification system of attachment following Ainsworth (Ainsworth and Wittig, 1969) and Main and Solomon (1986) producing:
- Insecure-avoidant (Type A) (20%)
- Securely attached (Type B) (70%)
- Insecure-resistant (Type C) (10%)
- Anxious, disorganised, disoriented (Type D - addition)
- B babies (the majority) are the most confident and assured in mother, so they are able to explore whilst returning to her
- A babies explore with an insecure indifference to mother
- C babies show the most insecure clinging attachment
- D babies lack any sense of strategy and return the carer's lack of co-ordinated parenting
- The more the baby is treated as an individual from its point of view the more it responds with most sense of security (type B)
- Mothers who reject their baby's requests and do not cuddle often produce insecure-avoidant babies (type A)
- Mothers who are inconsistent in their actions produce insecure-resistant and confused babies (types C and D)
Note that the baby may well develop different attachments with each parent.
Opposed to these theories of attachment are theories of temperament, being the baby's innate personality. Such is another discussion. More interesting is whether these theories of attachment go on in life.