The origins of Attachment Theory

An essay on the evolution and practice of Attachment Theory

Based on the work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, attachment theory has its origins in the 1930’s. Attachment theory combined Bowlby’s interest in the link between maternal deprivation and personality development with Ainsworth’s interest in security theory. Their collaboration began in 1950.

Bowlby formulated his initial concept of attachment theory drawing upon psychoanalytic thinking and after visiting Uganda, Ainsworth conducted the first studies of infant–mother attachment patterns.

This article summarizes Bowlby’s and Ainsworth’s separate and joint contributions to attachment theory in a clear, easily-understood style.

Click to read this comprehensive essay in pdf format online.
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