Understanding Attachment and Attachment Disorders: Theory, Evidence, and Practice

By Vivien Prior; Danya Glaser | Go to book overview

8 Assessments of
Attachment

Assessments of attachment based on
observation of the child's behaviour

The first assessments of attachment security were developed for use with infants and toddlers and were based on observational assessments of attachment behaviours. These aim to assess the child's attachment security based on the behaviours and reactions that are evoked when the attachment system is aroused. This arousal is achieved in two graded ways, the first being the introduction of a stranger and the second being separation from the caregiver. The behaviours are assumed to be based on the internal working models which the child has developed in relation to particular persons.

Table 8.1 lists the assessments of attachment in child age order.


Separation–reunion procedure

Strange situation

WHO DESIGNED IT AND WHEN?

Ainsworth and Wittig 1969.


ANY REVISIONS?

Ainsworth et al. 1978; Main and Solomon 1986, 1990.


WHAT DOES IT ASSESS?

The strange situation procedure assesses the attachment behaviour of young children to their primary carers, although, as outlined above, this behavior

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