1. Preattachment begins at birth and lasts through the first few weeks of their life. Babies display signs of preattachment with some of their first responses that they learn such as smiling, staring, and crying. These behaviors provoke a response from parents or caregivers which initiates important moments of feeling security and becoming familiar with their parent or caregiver that helps develop attachment to that person.
2. Attachment-in-the-making is the next step that takes place up to 6 months of age when infants recognize people allowing them to form a preference with whom they communicate and interact with. Often infants at this stage can recognize the difference between strangers and those they are familiar with.
3. Organized, goal-directed attachment is the following stage between 7 and 24 months of age. At this point infants know who their parents or caregiver is and will become upset when that person or persons leave, especially in the later months.
4. Formation of reciprocal partnerships takes place next at 24 months where infants can understand much more such as the fact that parents or caregivers will return diminishing as much of an emotional disturbance.
1. Securely attached infants are aware of their surroundings and will react to their parent or caregiver leaving but when they reappear the child will become calmer.
2. Insecure-avoidant infants tend to care less when their parent or caregiver leaves, showing now emotional despair.
3. Insecure-resistant (or ambivalent) infants show extreme emotions in regards to their parent or caregiver. Infants tend to desire and also loath attention from their parent or caregiver showing a conflict of emotions.
4. Disorganized-disoriented infants show signs of confusion of whether or not to be upset or happy during the disappearance and the return of their parent or caregiver.
According to Davidson’s 2005 video, Mary Ainsworth: Attachment and the growth of love: Patterns of attachment and the strange situation: Results, “For all these babies, whatever category, the Strange Situation triggered attachment behaviors they had developed in their first months of life. The patterns have proven to be quite stable over time and to color future interpersonal relationships.” In other words, regardless of the reaction throughout the experiment many formed healthy and strong relationships later in life. However, in Davidsons 2007 video, John Bowlby: Attachment theory across generations: Elements of attachment Theory, based off of experiments with the Strange Situation and continued research parents who served as a safe and secure relationship provided children with expectations of what other relationships should look like. As we can see in the video while George plays with his toys that he reflects from his relationship with his mother and what his expectations are from her.
Davidson’s 2005 video, Mary Ainsworth: Attachment and the growth of love: Patterns of attachment and the strange situation: Results, states, “Longitudinal studies indicate that people who have early secure attachments with their primary caregivers have better relationships with friends during childhood and youth and tend to have more stable adult love relationships.”
Davidson, F. (Producer) (2005). Mary Ainsworth: Attachment and the growth of love: Patterns of attachment and the strange situation: Results [Video file]. Retrieved from the Films On Demand database.
Davidson, F. (Producer). (2007) John Bowlby: Attachment theory across generations: Elements of attachment Theory [Video file]. Retrieved from the Films On Demand database.
Mossler, R. (2014). Child and Adolescent Development. (2nd ed) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/