Attachment Style According To


Attachment Style According To Essay, Research Paper


Attachment Style According to Ainsworth

Attachment Style According to Ainsworth

Discovering one s attachment style can prove to be both enriching and interesting. Through this discovery one can get a better understanding of one of the many different aspects of one s personality. Through the carefully created questionnaire I was able to discover my infant attachment style; a securely attached, type B infant. I found that the behaviors I had as a child were supported by past research, in specific research conducted by Mary Ainsworth.

Ainsworth asserted that there were three types of attachment styles during child development. They consisted of the securely attached baby (type B), the insecure/anxious-avoidant baby (type A), and the insecure/anxious-resistant baby (type C) (Santrock, 1999). These three attachment styles can be easily discovered through observations of the child s behavior and/or a series of simple questions. From the questionnaire created it was quickly apparent that I was a type B baby since I showed almost no characteristics of the other two types. In specific, I tended to explore my surrounding freely when my mother was in close proximity. If however, she was not within my visual field I came back looking for her. This differs from type A and C babies who do not even pay attention to the mother (type A) or infants who cling to the mother constantly (type C).

Other behaviors were equally important in helping to discern my attachment style. One of the more trademark behaviors of type B babies is their curiosity and affection seeking behavior (Ainsworth, 1979). One thing my mother emphasized was that I was always exploring my surroundings as if I was an explorer looking for something. Also, she said that my interaction with other infants and children was frequent and cooperative. She asserted that I was very comfortable interacting with others, and usually strangers too, given enough time to acquaint myself to them.

Another point supporting my attachment style has to do with the strange situation scenario that Ainsworth developed. The strange situation scenario was a way to discover infants attachment style. On a simple level the strange situation is an observational measure in which introductions, separations, and reunions are introduced to the infant (Santrock). The primary caregiver and a stranger are used. Using the typified reactions of type B infants as a comparison I was able to see that my reactions to separations and reunions were common to that of a type B baby. Type B infants tend to be happier when they are reunited and seek proximity, interaction, and affection during reunions (Ainsworth, 1979). The reactions of a type C baby during separation were that of distress, while type B infants showed more secure reactions that were not as extreme; this was concurrent with my behavior.

Another important characteristic that my mother mentioned was my affectionate behavior. It was very common for us to cuddle and hug each other; I both instigated affection and accepted it. Ainsworth and Russel (1981) reported that this is a common behavior of type B babies. Also, their study revealed that mothers of type B babies were found to have displayed more affectionate behavior than mothers of type A or C babies. In another study Blehar, Liebermann, and Ainsworth (1977) divided the type B baby into two subgroups, type B3, type B1, and B2. The type B3 infants were conspicuous for seeking to maintain close bodily contact with their mothers in reunion episodes. Type B1 babies interact with mothers do not seek as much proximity during reunions. Lastly, type B2 babies show proximity-seeking behaviors, but much less than that of B3 infants. From the information my mother provided, I could speculate that I was a type B3 baby.

The research mentioned above seems to be a clear indication of my attachment style. I found it interesting to discover that I fit almost perfectly into the type B category. Through Ainsworth contribution, many individuals, like myself, are able to discover yet another layer of their psyche that has helped to shape them into the person that they are today.


Ainsworth, M., D., S. (1979). Infant-mother attachment. Child Development, 34, 932-937.

Ainsworth, M., D., S., & Russel, L, T. (1981). Maternal affectionate behaviors and infant-mother attachment patterns. Child Development, 52, 1341-1343.

Blehar, M., C., Liebermann, A., F., & Ainsworth, M., D., S. (1977). Early face-to-face interaction and its relation to later infant-mother attachment. Child Development, 48, 182-194.

Santrock, J., W. (1999). Life-span development ( 7th ed.) Boston: McGraw-Hill College.

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