PSYC FPX 2700 Assessment 5 Attachment Theory

PSYC FPX 2700 Assessment 5 Attachment Theory

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PSYC FPX 2700 Assessment 5 Attachment Theory

Student Name

Capella University

PSYC FPX 2700 Child Development

Prof. Name


John Bowlby’s Theory of Attachment

John Bowlby, a notable psychoanalyst, asserted that early childhood experiences are paramount in shaping behavioral and psychological well-being (Mcleod, 2017). He spearheaded the adoption of attachment theory, emphasizing the enduring interpersonal connections formed between individuals (Berk). Bowlby contended that these connections initiate at birth and persist into adulthood (Cassidy, Jones, & Shaver, 2013). He proposed that attachment relationships serve as prototypes for future social interactions, and disruptions in these bonds can lead to significant repercussions (Mcleod, 2017). Mary Ainsworth expanded Bowlby’s work by delineating three attachment styles: secure, insecure-avoidant, and insecure-resistant (Mcleod, 2018).

Phases of Attachment

  1. Pre-Attachment (Birth-6 weeks): During this phase, infants engage with everyone without displaying distress upon separation from unfamiliar individuals.
  2. Attachment (6 weeks to 8 months): Infants begin to discern primary and secondary caregivers, as well as familiar and unfamiliar faces.
  3. Clear-Cut Attachment (8-24 months): Infants may manifest separation anxiety from primary caregivers while maintaining friendliness towards others.
  4. Formation of a Reciprocal Relationship (24 months+): Children develop self-soothing abilities and experience diminished separation anxiety (Berk).

Case Study: Marie

Marie, a three-month-old infant, demonstrates typical developmental milestones such as head control, toy grasping, and joyful reactions to family members. However, her recent manifestation of separation anxiety upon her mother’s return to work aligns with Bowlby’s phases of attachment theory (Berk).

PSYC FPX 2700 Assessment 5: Attachment Theory

Marie’s Development

  1. Physical Development: Marie’s physical parameters, including weight and length, fall within typical ranges. She has achieved developmental milestones like head control and independent toy manipulation.
  2. Cognitive Development: Marie exhibits recognition of family members’ faces and voices.
  3. Social Development: Marie displays social behaviors such as smiling at family members and developing separation anxiety (Murray et al., 2016).

Attachment Theory Applied to Marie’s Development

Marie’s behaviors correspond with Bowlby’s attachment theory phases. As she progresses through each stage, she demonstrates typical attachment behaviors such as recognizing familiar faces and experiencing separation anxiety (Berk).

PSYC FPX 2700 Assessment 5 Attachment Theory

Atypical or Typical Development?

Marie’s developmental trajectory aligns with Bowlby’s attachment theory, indicating typical development. Milestones such as social smiling and toy manipulation are consistent with standard infant development (Michaelsen, Lauritzen, & Mortensen, 2009).


Berk, L. E. (n.d.). Infants and Children. [Capella]. Retrieved from

Cassidy, J., Jones, J. D., & Shaver, P. R. (2013). Contributions of attachment theory and research: A framework for future research, translation, and policy. Development and Psychopathology, 25(4 Pt 2), 1415-1434. doi:10.1017/S0954579413000692

Mcleod, S. (2017). John Bowlby | Maternal Deprivation Theory | Simply Psychology. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from

Mcleod, S. (2018). Mary Ainsworth. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from

Michaelsen, K. F., Lauritzen, L., & Mortensen, E. L. (2009). Effects of Breastfeeding on Cognitive Function. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 199–215.

PSYC FPX 2700 Assessment 5 Attachment Theory

Murray, L., De Pascalis, L., Bozicevic, L., Hawkins, L., Sclafani, V., & Ferrari, P. F. (2016). The functional architecture of mother-infant communication, and the development of infant social expressiveness in the first two months. Scientific Reports, 6(1), 1–10.

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