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MGMT 2200 Critical Thinking And Analysis

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MGMT 2200 Critical Thinking And Analysis

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Course Code: MGMT2200
University: University Of New South Wales

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Country: Australia

Question:

The chief purpose of the report was to provide an analysis of the statement given and reveal its positive and negative aspects. The report followed a systematic structure in order to evaluate the importance of secure attachment in shaping the life of an individual.
The report mentioned the developmental theory literature and reviewed the works of the developmental theorists and their influence on attachment theory. Several theorists and their works were mentioned in the report.
Critical analysis of the attachment theories was also presented. The report concluded with an overall gist of the analysis by highlighting the findings of the research done.

Answer:

Introduction
The report aims at presenting a discussion on development theory literature and attachment theory while reviewing the given statement below. The prime focus will be on the developmental theory based on the life stages of individuals. Further, the report will discuss adult attachment theories of the 1980s and earlier, to explain the given statement. In addition, the report will provide the positive and negative aspects of the statement with the help of the research done. In doing so, the report will analyze all the aspects of the research findings and then evaluate both sides – positive as well as negative.
The statement
“Secure attachment was once viewed as important for infant development. More recently, it has been deemed the most important ingredient for successful relationship formation, strong self-identity & confidence to function and achieve in our lifetime”.
Examining and reviewing development theory based on the given statement
As evident from the above statement, the concept of ‘secure attachment’ has great significance in the life of a human being (Dwiwardani et al., 2014). The statement makes it clear that since the development of the secure attachment concept, it has attracted development scholars worldwide. Several developmental theories have been introduced over the years that span biological, psychological or cognitive and learning areas. Theorists such as Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Emile Durkheim, Sigmund Freud, and Erik Erikson amongst others have been pioneers in the field of developmental theory across different areas (Drew, 2013). It is important to note that every theorist focused on early childhood development as the foundation for an individual’s overall development. While Sigmund Freud focused on personality development that begins as early as five years old, Erik Erikson laid emphasis on psychosocial development of human beings. Jean Piaget on the other hand, stressed on the child’s cognitive development through different stages of life. Similarly, Lev Vygotsky spoke about cognitive development however; he did not attach any set stages for the development.
It is but important to note that Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development seem to have the closes link to the above statement. The first stage of Erikson’s theory states that babies completely rely on their elders for basic needs like food and warmth (Ozuah, 2016). As the stages pass, the children learn to take care of themselves and their lives are shaped by the way they are brought up. When they receive a healthy care from the adults, who provide them with all the care and love, they succeed in forming healthy relationships and develop strong identity for themselves. It all depends on the way they pass through the stages of trust versus mistrust, autonomy versus shame, industry versus inferiority, identity versus role confusion, intimacy versus isolation, and generativity versus self-absorption.
Literature review
The developmental theory literature paved the way for early attachment theorists to establish frameworks that could be used to understand the significance of early childhood attachments. During the initial years of the attachment theory’s development, it majorly focused on the attachment demonstrated by babies and children to their adults or caregivers. Gradually, these theories came to be associated with adults and the way these theories shaped their lives. John Bowlby was the first attachment theorist who proposed the attachment theory that stated infants seek proximity or attachment with an identified when they sense something distressful or alarming. Developed during the late 1960s, it was a psychological, ethological and evolutionary theory that presented elaborations and explanatory frameworks for comprehending interpersonal relationships amongst humans. Bowlby proposed that a “strong attachment to a caregiver provides necessary sense of security and foundation” (Bowlby & Ainsworth, 2013). According to the theorist, parent’s role as the caregiver is not limited to infancy only but it grows with time. A child with strong attachment grows up to be more adventurous and confident as opposed to a child without such an attachment.
After Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth continued developing the theory and proposed to more types other than secure attachment – avoidant and resistant. According to her, the avoidant attachment occurs when the infant tends to move away from their caregivers or ignore them (Lamb et al., 2013). Resistant attachment on the other hand, refers to the situation where the infant seeks closeness with the caregiver especially the mother but the mother shows inconsistency in care.
The later theorists like Cindy Hazan and Phillip Shaver revolutionized the field of attachment theory by associating it with adult relationships. The adult attachment theory was developing during the late 1980s. Hazan and Shaver believed, “the emotional bond that develops between adult romantic partners is partly a function of the same motivational system that gives rise to the bond between infant and caregiver” (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). They conducted studies on adult couples and found that adults who had weak attachment with their partners demonstrated feelings of inadequacy and lack of intimacy. On the other hand, adults who had excessively strong attachment with their partners were facing issues of co-dependency. However, couples who managed to balance their relationships keeping independence and intimacy equal were the most satisfied and happy.
Critical analysis
Many later theorists and scholars criticized the attachment theory stating that the mechanisms of attachment proposed by Bowlby. Ainsworth and even Hazan and Shaver do not work in all situations. Numerous factors like culture and tradition, the environment play an important role in attachment. One of the main criticisms of the theory came from J.R. Harris. The scholar argued that the character or personality of a child is not necessarily shaped by his or her attachment with the caregivers; rather it is shaped by the influence of his or her peers (Harris, 2011). An example of this could be that children of immigrants may be able to speak both their native language and the foreign language due to their interactions with their peers. Her arguments came to lay the foundation of the “nature versus nurture” debate (Krieg & Dickie, 2013).  Nature is the physical features that children get from their parents and nurture is the way they are brought up. Hence, to say that the infants with close or secure attachment with their parents grow up to be happy, well mannered or content is wrong.
Further criticisms of the theory state that attachment must not be viewed as simply a trait but instead must be considered a systematic principle with changeable behaviors. Later, Jerome Kagan criticized the theory arguing that the temporary influences of early childhood holds little importance than heredity does. Fox and Calkins (2013) also support Kagan’s argument stating that the behavior of the caregiver shapes the attachment style of the children however; the way that style is expressed depends on the children’s temperament. In the views of Slonim (2014), the main problem with the attachment theory is that the attachment behaviors demonstrated by infants occur mostly during stressful situations and not during situations where stress is absent. Further, the attachment theory has been criticized for blaming the mother for the turbulent life of the child due to absence of secure attachment. Critics argue that this is not always the case as has been put forward by Harris in her ‘nature-nurture’ debate. The mother might provide enough care and love to the child and still the child might go on to have a violent life owing to the influence of the peers and the environment.
As mentioned in the statement, secure attachment, which was previously seen as an important part of infant development, became increasingly important for establishing successful relationships, strong identity of the self and confidence to achieve in life.
Positives and negatives of the statement
The positive aspect of the statement is that it establishes a strong ground for the overall development of a child. The statement helps mothers understand the importance of the care they give to their infants (Schiffrin, 2014). Further, the statement also talks about the importance of attachment in a person’s entire life and hence it allows researchers to study the behaviors of individuals and understand the reasons behind those behaviors. As discussed in the previous sections, secure attachment provides a much-needed sense of security and foundation for the children. Another positive thing about the statement is that it mentions attachment as an important “ingredient” for a successful life rather than mentioning it as the only ingredient. The later theories developed on attachment shed light on this aspect of the statement where the outside environment, peer influence and culture amongst others also play equally important role.
In contrast to the positive aspects, the statement has some negatives as well. At first, it gives too much importance to attachment as being responsible for shaping a person’s life (MacDonald, Berlow & Thomas, 2013). The findings of Bowlby’s studies refer to the fact that a great amount of developmental energy is spent on searching for constancy and security when the child does not establish any attachment. The opponents of this view hold that several other factors contribute to a person’s satisfaction and happiness in life than just the secure attachment in infancy. Secondly, the statement makes wrong assumptions about secure attachment being the most important element for successful relationship building, strong self-identity and confidence to function and achieve in life (MacDonald, Berlow & Thomas, 2013). Building successful relationships depend on several factors as has been mentioned by theorists like Harris and Kagan. In addition, the adult attachment theorists have also demonstrated that infant attachment is not the only basis for successful relationship.
Conclusion
In the end, it must be stated that the statement analyzed in the paper has negatives and positives but is very important in understanding the attachment theory. The statement also provides a ground from where debates on developmental theories and its association with attachment theories could be evaluated. The paper carried out an extensive research to reveal that secure attachment although important to comprehend a person’s behavior; it is not the only criteria.
References:
Bowlby, J., & Ainsworth, M. (2013). The origins of attachment theory. Attachment Theory: Social, Developmental, and Clinical Perspectives, 45.
Drew, W. F. (2013). From Play to Practice-Connecting Teachers Play to Childrens Learning. National Association For The E.
Dwiwardani, C., Hill, P. C., Bollinger, R. A., Marks, L. E., Steele, J. R., Doolin, H. N., … & Davis, D. E. (2014). Virtues develop from a secure base: Attachment and resilience as predictors of humility, gratitude, and forgiveness. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 42(1), 83-90.
Fox, N. A., & Calkins, S. D. (2013). Pathways to aggression and social withdrawal: Interactions among temperament, attachment, and regulation. In Social withdrawal, inhibition, and shyness in childhood (pp. 91-110). Psychology Press.
Harris, J. R. (2011). The nurture assumption: Why children turn out the way they do. Simon and Schuster.
Hazan, C., & Shaver, P. (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of personality and social psychology, 52(3), 511.
Krieg, A., & Dickie, J. R. (2013). Attachment and hikikomori: a psychosocial developmental model. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 59(1), 61-72.
Lamb, M. E., Thompson, R. A., Gardner, W., & Charnov, E. L. (2013). Infant-mother attachment: The origins and developmental significance of individual differences in Strange Situation behavior. Routledge.
MacDonald, K., Berlow, R., & Thomas, M. L. (2013). Attachment, affective temperament, and personality disorders: a study of their relationships in psychiatric outpatients. Journal of affective disorders, 151(3), 932-941.
Ozuah, P. O. (2016). First, there was pedagogy and then came andragogy. Einstein journal of Biology and Medicine, 21(2), 83-87.
Slonim, T. (2014). The polyvagal theory: Neuropsychological foundations of emotions, attachment, communication, & self-regulation. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 64(4), 593-600.

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