THE ORIGINS OF ATTACHMENT THEORY: JOHN BOWLBY AND MARY AINSWORTH
作者: INGE BRETHERTON / 13688次阅读 时间: 2013年11月08日
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REFINING ATTACHMENT THEORY AND RESEARCH: BOWLBY AND AINSWORTH

Before the publication of “The Nature of the Child’s Tie to His Mother” in 1958, Mary Ainsworth received a preprint of the paper from John Bowlby. This event led Bowlby and Ainsworth to renew their close intellectual collaboration. Ainsworth’s subsequent analysis of data from her Ganda project (Ainsworth 1963, 1967) influenced and was influenced by Bowlby’s reformulation of attachment theory (published in 1969). In this sharing of ideas, Ainsworth’s theoretical contribution to Bowlby’s presentation of the ontogeny of human attachment cannot be overestimated.

Findings From Ainsworth’s Ganda Project

The Ganda data (Ainsworth, 1963, 1967) were a rich source for the study of individual differences in the quality of mother - infant interaction, the topic that Bowlby had earlier left aside as too difficult to study. Of special note, in light of Ainsworth’s future work, was an evaluation of maternal sensitivity to infant signals, derived from interview data. Mothers who were excellent informants and who provided much spontaneous detail were rated as highly sensitive, in contrast to other mothers who seemed imperceptive of the nuances of infant behavior. Three infantattachment patterns were observed: Securely attached infants cried little and seemed content to explore in the presence of mother; insecurely attached infants cried frequently, even when held by their mothers, and explored little; and not-yet attached infants manifested no differential behavior to the mother.

It turned out that secure attachment was significantly correlated with maternal sensitivity. Babies of sensitive mothers tended to be securely attached, whereas babies of less sensitive mothers were more likely to he classified as insecure. Mothers’ enjoyment of breast-feeding also correlated with infant security. These findings foreshadow some of Ainsworth’s later work, although the measures are not yet as sophisticated as those developed for subsequent studies.

Ainsworth presented her initial findings from the Ganda project at meetings of the Tavistock Study Group organized by Bowlby during the 1960s (Ainsworth, 1963). Participants invited to these influential gatherings included many now-eminent infant researchers of diverse theoretical backgrounds (in addition to Mary Ainsworth, there were Genevieve Appell, Miriam David, Jacob Gewirtz, Hanus Papousek, Heinz Prechtl, Harriet Rheingold, Henry Ricciuti, Louis Sander, and Peter Wolff), as well as renowned animal researchers such as Harry Harlow, Robert Hinde, Charles Kaufmann, Jay Rosenblatt, and Thelma Rowell Their lively discussions and ensuing studies contributed much to the developing field of infant social development in general. Importantly for Bowlby, they also enriched his ongoing elaboration of attachment theory. Bowlby had always believed that he had much to gain from bringing together researchers with different theoretical backgrounds (e.g., learning theory, psychoanalysis, and ethology), whether or not thy agreed with his theoretical position. Proceedings of these fruitful meetings were published in four volumes entitled Determinants of Infant Behaviour (1961, 1963, 1965, and 1969, edited by Brian Foss).

The Baltimore Project

In 1963, while still pondering the data from the Ganda study, Mary Ainsworth embarked on a second observational project whose thoroughness no researcher has since equaled. Again, she opted for naturalistic observations, hut with interviews playing a somewhat lesser role. The 26 participating Baltimore families were recruited before their babies were horn, with 18 home visits beginning in the baby’s first month and ending at 54 weeks of age. Each visit lasted 4 hours tomake sure that mothers would feel comfortable enough to follow their normal routine, resulting in approximately 72 hours of data collection per family.

Raw data took the form of narrative reports, jotted down in personal shorthand, marked in 5-minute intervals, and later dictated into a tape recorder for transcription. Typed narratives from all visits for each quarter of the first year of life were grouped together for purposes of analysis.

A unique (at the time) aspect of Ainsworth’s methodology was the emphasis on meaningful behavioral patterns in context, rather than on frequency counts of specific behaviors, This approach had roots in her dissertation work, in which she classified patterns of familial and extrafamilial dependent and independent security, in her expertise with the Rorschach test, and in her work at the Tavistock Institute with Bowlby and Robertson.

Close examination of the narratives revealed the emergence of characteristic mother-infant interaction patterns during the first 3 months (see Ainsworth et al., 1978; see also Ainsworth, 1982, 1983). Separate analyses were conducted on feeding situations (Ainsworth & Bell, 1969), mother-infant face-to-face interaction (Blehar, Lieberman, & Ainsworth, 1977), crying (Bell & Ainsworth, 1972), infant greeting and following (Stayton & Ainsworth, 1973), the attachmentexploration balance (Ainsworth, Bell, & Stayton, 1971), obedience (Stayton, Hogan, & Ainsworth, 1973), close bodily contact (Ainsworth, Bell, Blehar, & Main, 1971), approach behavior (Tracy, Lamb, & Ainsworth, 1976), and affectionate contact (Tracy & Ainsworth, 1981).

Striking individual differences were observed in how sensitively, appropriately, and promptly mothers responded to their infants’ signals. For some mother-infant pairs, feeding was an occasion for smooth cooperation. Other mothers had difficulties in adjusting their pacing and behavior to the baby’s cues. In response, their babies tended to struggle, choke, and spit up, hardly the sensuous oral experience Freud had had in mind. Similar distinctive patterns were observed in face-to-face interactions between mother and infant during the period from 6 to 15 weeks (Blehar et al,, 1977). When mothers meshed their own playful behavior with that of their babies, infants responded with joyful bouncing, smiling, and vocalizing. However, when mothers initiated face-to-face interactions silently and with an unsmiling expression, ensuing interactions were muted and brief. Findings on close bodily contact resembled those on feeding andface-to-face Interaction, as did those on crying. There were enormous variations in how many crying episodes a mother ignored and how long she let the baby cry. In countering those who argued that maternal responsiveness might lead to “spoiling,” Bell and Ainsworth (1972) concluded that “an infant whose mother’s responsiveness helps him to achieve his ends develops confidence in his own ability to control what happens to him” (p. 1188).

Maternal sensitivity in the first quarter was associated with more harmonious mother-infant relationships In the fourth quarter. Babies whose mothers had been highly responsive to crying during the early months now tended to cry less, relying for communication on facial expressions, gestures, and vocalizations (Bell & Ainsworth, 1972). Similarly, infants whose mothers had provided much tender holding during the first quarter sought contact less often during the fourth quarter, hut when contact occurred, it was rated as more satisfying and affectionate (Ainsworth, Bell, Blehar, et al,, 1971), Ainsworth (Ainsworth et al., 1978) explains these findings by recourse to infants’ expectations, based on prior satisfying or rejecting experiences with mother.

All first-quarter interactive patterns were also related to infant behavior in a laboratory procedure known as the Strange Situation (Ainsworth & Wittig, 1969). This initially very controversial laboratory procedure for 1 -year-olds was originally designed to examine the balance of attachment and exploratory behaviors under conditions of low and high stress, a topic in which Harlow (196!) had aroused Ainsworth’s interest during meetings of the Tavistock group, but which also reminded her of an earlier study by Arsenian (1943) on young children in an insecure situation and of her dissertation work on security theory.

The Strange Situation is a 20-minute miniature drama with eight episodes. Mother and infant are introduced to a laboratory playroom, where they are later joined by an unfamiliar woman. While the stranger plays with the baby, the mother leaves briefly and then returns. A second separation ensues during which the baby is completely alone. Finally, the stranger and then the mother return.

As expected, Ainsworth found that infants explored the playroom and toys more vigorously in the presence of their mothers than after a stranger entered or while the mother was absent (Ainsworth & Bell, 1970). Although these results were theoretically interesting, Ainsworth became much more intrigued with unexpected patterns of infant reunion behaviors, whichreminded her of responses Robertson had documented in children exposed to prolonged separations,

and about which Bowlby (1959) had theorized in his paper on separation. A few of the I -year-olds from the Baltimore study were surprisingly angry when the mother returned after a 3-minute (or shorter) separation. They cried and wanted contact but would not simply cuddle or “sink in” when picked up by the returning mother. Instead, they showed their ambivalence by kicking or swiping at her. Another group of children seemed to snub or avoid the mother on reunion, even though they had often searched for her while she was gone. Analyses of home data revealed that those infants who had been ambivalent toward or avoidant of the mother on reunion in the Strange Situation had a less harmonious relationship with her at home than those (a majority) who sought proximity, interaction, or contact on reunion (Ainsworth, Bell, & Stayton, 1974). Thus originated the well-known Strange Situation classification system (Ainsworth et al., 1978), which, to Ainsworth’s chagrin, has stolen the limelight from her observational findings of naturalistic mother-infant interaction patterns at home.

The First Volume in the Attachment Trilogy: Attachment and Ethology

While Ainsworth wrote up the findings from her Ganda study for Infancy in Uganda (1967) and was engaged in collecting data for the Baltimore project, Bowlby worked on the first volume of the attachment trilogy, Attachment (1969). When he began this enterprise in 1962, the plan had been for a single hook. However, as he explains in the preface: “As my study of theory progressed it was gradually borne in upon me that the field I had set out to plough so light-heartedly was no less than the one Freud had started tilling sixty years earlier.” In short, Bowlby realized that he had to develop a new theory of motivation and behavior control, built on up-to-date science rather than the outdated psychic energy model espoused by Freud.

In the first half of Attachment, Bowlby lays the groundwork for such a theory, taking pains to document each important statement with available research findings. He begins by noting that organisms at different levels of the phylogenetic scale regulate instinctive behavior in distinct ways, ranging from primitive reflex-like “fixed action patterns” to complex plan hierarchies with subgoals. In the most complex organisms, instinctive behaviors may be “goal-corrected” with continual on-course adjustments (such as a bird of prey adjusting its flight to the movements of the prey). The concept of cybernetically controlled behavioral systems organized as planhierarchies (Miller, Galanter, & Pribram, 1960) thus came to replace Freud’s concept of drive and instinct. Behaviors regulated by such systems need not be rigidly innate, hut-depending on the organism- can adapt in greater or lesser degrees to changes in environmental circumstances, provided that these do not deviate too much from the organism’s environment of evolutionary adaptedness. Such flexible organisms pay a price, however, because adaptable behavioral systems can more easily be subverted from their optimal path of development. For humans, Bowlby speculates, the environment of evolutionary adaptedness probably resembles that of present-day hunter-gatherer societies.

The ultimate functions of behavioral systems controlling attachment, parenting, mating, feeding, and exploration are survival and procreation. In some cases, the predictable outcome of system activation is a time-limited behavior (such as food intake); in others it is the time-extended maintenance of an organism in a particular relation to its environment (e.g., within its own territory or in proximity to particular companions).

Complex behavioral systems of the kind proposed by Bowlby can work with foresight in organisms that have evolved an ability to construct internal working models of the environment and of their own actions in it (a concept taken over from (Craik, 1943, through the writings of the biologist J. Young, 1964). The more adequate an organism’s internal working model, the more accurately the organism can predict the future, However, adds Bowlby, if working models of the environment and self are out of date or are only half revised after drastic environmental change, pathological functioning may ensue. He speculates that useful model revision, extension, and consistency checking may require conscious processing of model content. In humans, communicative processes-initially limited to emotional or gestural signaling and later including language - also permit the inter-subjective sharing of model content. On an intrapsychic level, the same processes are useful for self-regulation and behavioral priority setting.

In mammals and birds, behavioral systems tend to become organized during specific sensitive developmental periods. As initial reflex-like behavior chains come under more complex, cybernetically controlled organization, the range of stimuli that can activate them also becomes more restricted, This is the case in imprinting, broadly defined as the restriction of specific instinctive behaviors to particular individuals or groups of individuals during sensitive phases ofdevelopment, as in filial, parental, and sexual imprinting.

Having laid out this general theory of motivation and behavior regulation in the first half of the volume, Bowlby goes on, in the second half, to apply these ideas to the specific domain of infant-mother attachment. He defines attachment behavior as behavior that has proximity to an attachment figure as a predictable outcome and whose evolutionary function is protection of the infant from danger, insisting that attachment has its own motivation and is in no way derived from systems subserving mating and feeding.

Although human infants initially direct proximity-promoting signals fairly indiscriminately to all caregivers, these behaviors become increasingly focused on those primary figures who are responsive to the infant’s crying and who engage the infant in social interaction (Schaffer & Emerson, 1964). Once attached, locomotor infants are able to use the attachment figure as a secure base for exploration of the environment and as a safe haven to which to return for reassurance (Ainsworth, 1967; Schaffer & Emerson, 1964). How effectively the attachment figure can serve in these roles depends on the quality of social interaction-especially the attachment figure’s sensitivity to the infant’s signals-although child factors also play a role. Building on Ainsworth’s Ganda study (1967) and preliminary findings from her Baltimore project, Bowlby (1969) comments that:

when interaction between a couple runs smoothly, each party manifests intense pleasure in the other’s company and especially in the other’s expression of affection. Conversely, whenever interaction results in persistent conflict each party is likely on occasion to exhibit intense anxiety or unhappiness, especially when the other is rejecting. Proximity and affectionate interchange are appraised and felt as pleasurable by both, whereas distance and expressions of rejection are appraised as disagreeable or painful by both. (p. 242)

During the preschool years, the attachment behavioral system, always complementary to the parental caregiving system, undergoes further reorganization as the child attains growing insight into the attachment figure’s motives and plans. Bowlby refers to this stage as goalcorrected partnership. However, in emphasizing infant initiative and sensitive maternal responding, Bowlby’s (1951) earlier theorizing on the mother as the child’s ego and superego was regrettably lost.

Consolidation

The publication of the first volume of the attachment trilogy in 1969 coincided with the appearance in print of initial findings from Ainsworth’s Baltimore project (reviewed earlier). However, many investigators strongly contested Ainsworth’s claims regarding the meaning of Strange Situation behavior, often because they failed to note that Strange Situation classifications had been validated against extensive home observations. Some interpreted avoidant infants’ behavior as independence. The controversy lessened somewhat after the publication of Patterns of Attachment (Ainsworth et al., 1978), which drew together the results from the Baltimore project and presented findings from other laboratories on the sequelae of attachment classifications in toddlerhood and early childhood (e.g., Main, 1973; Matas, Arend, & Sroufe, 1978).

During this period, many of Ainsworth’s graduate students began to publish their own work. Silvia Bell (1970) examined the relationship between object permanence and attachment. Mary Main (1973) studied secure and insecure toddlers’ capacity to become invested in play activities and problem solving. Mary Blehar (1974) undertook the first study of attachment and nonmaternal care, and Alicia Lieberman (1977) investigated attachment and peer relationships in preschoolers. Mary Ainsworth’s influence is also evident in the fact that many Johns Hopkins undergraduate students who had helped with the analysis of data from the Baltimore project later produced innovative dissertations on attachment-related topics at their respective graduate institutions. Among these students were Robert Marvin (1972, 1977), who wrote on the goal-corrected partnership; Milton Kotelchuck (1972), who studied father attachment; Mark Cummings (1980), who investigated attachment and day care; Mark Greenberg (Greenberg & Marvin, 1979), who examined attachment in deaf children; and Everett Waters (1978), who documented the longitudinal stability of attachment patterns from 12 to 18 months.

Everett Waters’ entry into graduate study at the University of Minnesota in 1973 had a profound effect on Alan Sroufe, who had read Mary Ainsworth’s (1968) theoretical article about object relations and dependency but had not heard of the Strange Situation or the Baltimore project (Sroufe, personal communication, 1988). Sroufe’s contact with Waters led to significant empirical and theoretical collaborations. In 1977, Sroufe and Waters wrote an influential paper that made attachment as an organizational construct accessible to a large audience. At the same time, Sroufe and Egeland, together with many of their students, undertook a large-scale longitudinalstudy of attachment with an at-risk population (disadvantaged mothers), The Minnesota study, summarized in Sroufe (1983) but still ongoing, stands as the second major longitudinal study of the relationship between quality of caregiving and security of attachment.

Elsewhere across the United States, much time was spent testing the predictive validity of Strange Situation reunion classifications. Many researchers sought to train with Mary Ainsworth or her former students to learn the procedure and classification system. Hundreds of studies using the Strange Situation appeared in print. It often seemed as if attachment and the Strange Situation had become synonymous.www.psychspace.com心理学空间网

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