PSYC FPX 2700 Assessment 5 Attachment Theory
Phillip April 25, 2024 No Comments

PSYC FPX 2700 Assessment 5 Attachment Theory

PSYC FPX 2700 Assessment 5 Attachment Theory


Capella university

PSYC FPX 2700 Child Development

Prof. Name


John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory

John Bowlby, a prominent psychoanalyst, posited that early childhood experiences play a significant role in behavioral and mental health issues (Mcleod, 2017). He pioneered the application of attachment theory, emphasizing the enduring personal connections that develop between individuals (Berk). According to Bowlby, these connections commence at birth and persist throughout adulthood (Cassidy, Jones, & Shaver, 2013). He proposed that attachment relationships serve as templates for future social interactions, and disruptions in these bonds can lead to severe consequences (Mcleod, 2017). Mary Ainsworth furthered Bowlby’s work by identifying three attachment styles: secure, insecure-avoidant, and insecure-resistant (Mcleod, 2018).

Phases of Attachment

  1. Pre-Attachment (Birth-6 weeks): During this phase, infants interact with everyone without displaying distress when separated from unfamiliar individuals.
  2. Attachment (6 weeks to 8 months): Infants begin to differentiate between primary and secondary caregivers, as well as familiar and unfamiliar faces.
  3. Clear-Cut Attachment (8-24 months): Infants may exhibit separation anxiety from primary caregivers while still being friendly towards others.
  4. Formation of a Reciprocal Relationship (24 months+): Children develop self-soothing abilities and experience reduced separation anxiety (Berk).

Case Study: Marie

Marie, a three-month-old baby, exhibits typical developmental milestones such as holding her head up, grasping toys, and reacting joyfully to family members. However, her recent 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

  • Physical Development: Marie’s weight and length are within typical ranges, and she has achieved milestones like head control and independent toy manipulation.
  • Cognitive Development: Marie demonstrates recognition of family members’ faces and voices.
  • Social Development: Marie exhibits 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 align with Bowlby’s attachment theory phases. As she transitions through each stage, she exhibits typical attachment behaviors such as recognizing familiar faces and developing separation anxiety (Berk).

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 typical infant development (Michaelsen, Lauritzen, & Mortensen, 2009).


Berk, L. E. 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

PSYC FPX 2700 Assessment 5 Attachment Theory

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 Breast-feeding on Cognitive Function. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 199–215.

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.