outline and evaluate strange situation as a method of assessing childrens attachment

Outline and evaluate strange situation as a method for assessing attachment in children

The aim of the strange situation was to examine individual differences in attachment styles. Ainsworth did this by putting a number of children aged 12-18 months in situations and examined their behaviour. The sample contained about 100 middle class American families. Ainsworth was particularly interested in observing separation anxiety, stranger anxiety and reunion behaviour in the infant. The technique used was sampling. This was recorded in a coding sheet which includes behaviour categories. The method involved the mother and the child in a series of 7 episodes. The findings of the strange situation were that there were many individual differences in responses to the strange situation, but three categories were made. One was secure attachment. 70% of the children were in this category. In secure attachment, the infant uses the mother as a secure base when present. The infant would be distressed when separated, but would be quickly comforted when the mother returned. Another category that Ainswoth found was called insecure resistant attachment. 15% of the children went under this category. The infant would be ambient and there would be inconsistency with the mother. The infant would feel extreme distress upon separation and would be resistant on reunion.

The final category was insecure attachment. 15% of children behaved this way. The infant would have no contact sought with the mother. There would be no distress on separation and there would be no stranger anxiety. Ainswoth concluded that a crucial factor that determines a child’s attachment to their mother is her sensitivity. The sensitive mother responds to their babies needs and is very consistent and accessible. Sensitive mother have babies which are securely attached. Insensitive mothers are inconsistent with their infant, and have insecurely attached babies. To evaluate, one important strength if the strange situation experiment is that it was high in reliability. This is because everyone that evaluated a child got almost identical results. The agreement was 94% which is high. This shows that the results are replicable and fairly correct, and that it achieves consistent results. For example, a study conducted in Germany found 78% of the children were classified in the same way at ages 1 and 6 years (Wartner, et al. 1994). This is a strength because it makes the research more scientifically correct. The biggest strength is that the strange situation classification has become the accepted methodology worldwide for measuring attachment. This shows that it is trusted enough for hospitals ect to use this method.

A weakness of strange situation is validity. Main and Weston found that children behaved differently when with a different attachment figure. This suggests that the classification of a6 attachment type may not be valid because its measuring the relationship to the mother and the child when the child may have a different attachment with, for example, their father. This means that the results could have been different if the child was with anther attachment figure. Another weakness is that the strange situation has also been criticized on ethical grounds. Because the child is put under stress (separation and stranger anxiety), the study has broken the ethical guideline protection of participants. Also, the sample is biased -100 middle class American families. Therefore, it is difficult to generalize the findings outside of America and to working class families. Overall the strange situation is the accepted mythology worldwide for assessing individual differences in attachment type, so this must mean it is very accurate.

"Looking for a Similar Assignment? Order now and Get a Discount!

Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.

Get better grades effortlesslyIt’s cheaper than you might think

Effortlessly get the essays and grades you need. You can now get any essay, on any subject and at ANY deadline with just 10 minutes of your time (or less). Your professor will love you for it!