Mary The first style is secure attschment. Children

Mary Ainsworth (1982, 1989) developed a way tomeasure and conceptualise patterns associated with both attachment types. She also expanded Bowlby’s ideas and modified them in order keep them up to date as, in todays world,focus tends to be more on the subtleties of parent-child interactions as opposed to the “gross disruptions of care” i.e. bereavement and loss (Holmes, 2014). Ainsworth developed three attatchment stlyes. The first style is secure attschment. Children experiencing this have parents who make them feel loved and safe. Their needs are met and the parents display empathy alongside providing a warm home environment that helps the children become empathic themselves. Securely attached children tend to be less aggressive and accept more responsibility than those in the other attachment styles. This style creates a healthy template for future relationships to be modeled on. It is estimated that secure attachment is the most common across the UK at around 50%. The second trait is anxious/preoccupied. Parents of children in this type are inconsistent when it comes to parental attention. They are only occasionally reliable. As the children get older, they can be clingy and sometimes demanding. They find it difficult to calm themselves down, even if they have a partner who is securely attached. The anxious/preoccupied. style is thought to take up about 20% of the population. Those experiencing it can crave intimacy and this is due to the fact that their early attachment needs were usually ignored but, in the same breath,they doubt their own value and ability as a partner. Their almost never ending anxiety makes it to acknowledge the fact that they are loved and valued by someone important to them. The next trait is dismissive/fearful avoidant, in which  “parents are neglectful as a lifestyle”, leaving their children responsible to keep themselves occupied. Even though their physical needs are met (i.e. fed, clothed, shelter), any emotional support is of limited supply. Children who grow up with this style believe their needs won’t ever be met and that they are responsible for their own care. They are of the opinion they will always be let down. Developing close relationships is desirable to them but can be scary so, as a result, they may decide it’s easier to be alone. The final style is disorganised attachment. Combined, the  other types make up around 90% of human attachment styles, meaning the rest is left for disorganised attachment. Children who have witnessed violence or experienced abuse in their lives fail to develop feelings of safety and security with others as they get older. They display anxious behaviours and can seem avoidant at times. It is extremely challenging to calm a disorganised attached person down and they tend to experiece chaotic intimate relationships due to the fact they can lean heavily on those around them manage their feelings. Traumatic memories of their childhood can possibly resurface when raising their own children (Couples retreats and Online Couples Therapy, 2018).


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