After thoroughly examining different cases of maladjusted children, psychologist John Bowlby began to pioneer his work, linking patients’ childhood histories to the symptoms they showed. It appeared that the children’s behavior was affected by the parental deprivation and instances of separations they had since infancy. He also made medical breakthroughs when he discovered that parents’ childhood experiences also contribute significantly to the behavior of these emotionally troubled children (Bretherton, 1994, p. 762). Although he originally established the theory on the attachment behavioral system of a child, he ascribed that each child has a distinct way of appraising the receptiveness towards their primary caregivers and how they
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821). The assessment would revolve around an infant between 12 to 20-months of age, who would be put in an unfamiliar setting (usually a room filled with toys and a couple of chairs). The caregiver would leave the child for a short time, as a separation period to trigger the infant’s need for the caregiver. This aims to show how the infant handles moments of separation, and to differentiate the infant’s reaction to each situation, particularly on how he responds upon seeing his caregiver again, which is termed the “reunion”. The subsequent attachment behaviours are categorized as secure, ambivalent and avoidant. Additionally, the research also identified an irregular attachment pattern, which is termed “disorganized”.
Well-corroborated medical interventions to re-establish the attachment between a mother and her child are refined to treat children who developed severely aggressive behaviours due to any kind of traumatic experience, or history of early attachment disruptions. In clinical settings, two approaches are used in order to evaluate the attachment between the people involved. The first approach is a methodical interaction to assess how the child tries to balance the need of a secure base and safe haven. The second approach is an interview with the caregiver to narrate everything there is to know about the child (Zeanah, Berlin & Boris, 2011, p. 821). The narrative interview with the