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Attachment refers to extraordinary poignant association, which entails exchange of care, pleasure, and comfort. The ancestry of study on concept of attachment commenced with the theories of Freud regarding love, however, the father of the attachment theory is John Bowlby, who conducted far-reaching research on the concept. He described the meaning as long-lasting emotional association amid people. The psychoanalytic shared by Bowlby is that childhood’s early experiences pose significant impact on the behaviour and influence in later life. (Cherry, 2014)
The attachment theory was developed initially by John Bowlby (1907 - 1990), who attempted to comprehend the extreme anguish that the infants experience when separated from the parents. It was observed by Bowlby that these children might go to unexpected spans, like, clinging, crying, or hysterically searching in order to avoid parting from the parents or for re-establishing propinquity to the parent not being present. In the primary writings of Bowlby, it was held that by the psychoanalytic writers that such terms demonstrated adolescent justification instruments, which operated for repressing emotional hurt, however, it was noted by Bowlby that these expressions demonstrate commonness to a large span of people, and contemplated that these behaviors might supply an evolutionary role. (Fraley, 2010)
Being inspired by ethological theory, it was hypothesized by Bowlby that such behaviors of attachment, like searching, and crying, are adaptive reactions in situations of separation from figure of primary attachment, one who offers protection, support, and care. Since infants are unable to feed or protect themselves, they depend on adults for the purpose of protection and care. It has been argued by Bowlby that, in the entire evolutionary history line, infants who could keep up closeness to a figure of attachment, through the attachment behaviors are likely to continue to exist to a reproductive age. As per him, the attachment behavioral system, also referred to as motivational system, was designed step by step through natural selection for regulating propinquity to a figure of attachment. (McLeod, 2009)
In the attachment theory, the attachment behaviour system is a critical notion since it offers the theoretical connection amid human development’s ethological models as well as the contemporary theories on personality and regulation of emotion. As per Bowlby, the basic question asked by the attachment system is that if the figure of attachment is accessible, nearby, and attentive. In case the perception of the child for this question is a "yes," it can be derived that the child feels secure, loved, and confident, and, in the context of behaviour, he would be able to see the sights in the environment, be convivial, and play with others. On the other hand, if the response of the child is a "no," it can be derived that the child experiences apprehension and in the context of behaviour, would demonstrate behaviours of attachment that range from plain image search to vocal signalling and active following. Such behaviours carry on till the time the child re-establishes an enviable psychological or physical proximity level to the figure of attachment, or till the time the child is worn out, which may happen in the situation of extended loss or separation. It was believed by Bowlby that in these instances profound depression and despair is experienced by young children. (Barth, Crea, John, Thoburn, & Quinton, 2005)
It was believed by Bowlby that there exist four distinctive attachment characteristics, which are proximity maintenance, which is the wish of being close to the groups and individuals that we have attachment with, safe haven, which refers to coming back to the attachment figure for gaining safety and comfort, regardless of a threat or fear, secure base refers to attachment figure acting as a security basis from which it is possible for the child to discover the contiguous atmosphere, and separation distress, which refers to the anxiety that takes place when the attachment figure is absent.
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