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Mary Ainsworth Essay

822 words - 4 pages

Early Life
Ainsworth was raised in Canada as the oldest of four girls. After her birth in Glendale, Ohio her family relocated to Canada for employment. Both her father and mother were Dickinson College graduates and placed significant emphasis on proper education. Ainsworth graduated from high school eager to pursue her degree in psychology and enrolled in the University of Toronto in 1929. There she earned both her Bachelor’s and her Ph.D. before she chose to enlist in the Canadian Women’s Army Corp during World War II. By the year 1945, Ainsworth had risen to the rank of Major within the Corps.

Professional Life
Ainsworth left the Corps to return to teaching in Toronto. Shortly ...view middle of the document...

During the observation phase, the clinician places both the mother figure and child in a secure environment and allows them to interact to the point of familiarity with their surroundings. A stranger is introduced into the environment and interacts with the child, while the parent leaves the room. When the parent returns, the child and parent are reunited and the stranger exits. After this point, the parent exits, leaving the child alone. During that time, the stranger enters again, interacts with the child, and the parent returns. The stranger leaves again and the parent and child are left alone to interact.

The child’s behavior is examined and assessed throughout this exercise. There are four key elements of behavior that are examined with respect to the child:
1.How much does the child explore his or her surroundings?
2.What is the child’s reaction when the parent leaves?

3.Does the child express any anxiety with the introduction of the stranger when the child is alone?
4.The behavior of the child when interacting with the parent is assessed.

The results of this experiment have been categorized into four specific types of attachment:
1.Secure Attachment: This is displayed when a child is very attached to the mother. This child will explore and engage with others when the mother is present, however, when the mother leaves, this child will become agitated. If alone with the stranger, the child will avoid contact with the stranger.
2.Anxious-Resistant Insecure...

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