PSYFP7210 Capella University Individual & Cultural Differences on Development REVAMP PAPER AND IMPLEMENT 1 & 2 APA FORMAT#1 ASSESS THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF

PSY-FP7210 – Lifespan Development
Running Head: Attachment Development in the Case Study of Hedley
This papers objective is to analyze Hedley’s case study and touch on the attachment
theories. Due to a child’s caregivers’ parental style, this can have a profound effect on a child’s
development in attachment as well as the impact on their relationships and well-being growing
into adulthood. Information is implemented on the issues and behaviors that could arise from
particular attachment styles such as anxious-ambivalent attachment, and the best form of
interventions that should be applied.
Case Study of Hedley
Hedley is a 2-year-old boy who lives in the state of Montana. His parents are separated
and never have lived in the same household from the day he was born. The mother and father do
not have a consistent schedule where there isn’t any form of routine and structure with custody
and parental visits. The father (Joseph) chooses to see his son at his convenience. This can vary
from a couple days of visitation to weeks without contact. Josephs childhood too was unstable
and inconsistent. Josephs mother had MS when he was at a young age. His own father was in and
out of his life. Joseph was moved from foster home to foster him when his mother was not able
to take care of him. His own dad would leave when the mom would get sick struggling to tend to
him at the age of 3 and his twin brother and sisters at the age of 2. Limited interaction and touch
consisted of Josephs childhood. When Joseph eventually got old enough to start working while
also attending high school, he started fending for himself making adult decisions at the age of 15.
When Hedley is with Joseph for a few days sometimes the father, for example, will tend
to his crying son after he wakes up from a nap. The father will pick him up and soothe him then
lays him back down in his crib. Hedley will then display the need for more time with dad and
Running Head: Attachment Development in the Case Study of Hedley
cries more, but this time his cry goes unheard. The father is nearby but is ignoring the cries from
his son to interact. Other episodes occur such as the father will play with his son, but when his
son tries to interact with his dad again, the father will often ignore him or place him back in the
crib. The 2-year-old boy has been displaying strong closeness- and contact-seeking behavior and
strong contact behavior within the presence of this father. However, the boy has been displaying
a great deal of hesitancy with his behavior around his father, for example, the mixture of
searching for and defying contact with his dad. The child tends to seek attention from his father
but, at the same time, he is apprehensive losing his attention from him any time. During the
anniversary date of Josephs mothers passing, dates that are difficult reminders of stressful times,
or when there is tension in his personal life the father seeks his son’s company such as snuggling
with Hedley, talking in a baby tone, and avoiding anyone else in his surroundings. Inadvertently
Joseph looks to Hedley to meet his own needs instead of the other way around.
Attachment Theories
A central basis of attachment theory is that infants or toddlers learn about ways of
relating from early relationships with their attachment objects and build up a set of expectations
about themselves in relation to others. Based on these experiences, they build what Bowlby
termed an internal working model (IWM) which means they can approach new situations with
some prior ideas about how they can cope in the face of threat. Three components of IWM are a
model of the self, a model of the other, and a model of the relationship between these. Infants
form attachments with those people around them who care for them sensitively and consistently
(Berger, 2017). The more frequently, sensitively, and consistently a person cares for an infant,
the high that person becomes in the infant’s hierarchy of attachment figure, and the more likely it
is that this is the person who will be turned to by the infant in times of stress. Most infants have
Running Head: Attachment Development in the Case Study of Hedley
embedded in a network not only family but individuals in the community. According to Bowlby,
contact with a large number of people whom an infant can form attachment is a benefit and how
IWM can be modified and developed. The flexibility in the attachment system is another feature
of its adaptive importance in evolution, enabling the infant and then the child to acclimatize to
changes in the caregiving atmosphere (Berger, 2017).
In the study “The strange situation episodes” eight episodes were observed that consisted
of the child with their mother figure, sometimes with just a stranger, and sometimes with both
people. This was developed to observe how a child organizes their attachment behaviors when
exposed to increasing amounts of stress. According to attachment theory, infants who have
formed a good attachment to one or both parents should be able to use figure bases from which
to explore the novel environment, because their IWMs have versions of available parent figures.
The stranger’s entry ought to lead infants to deter exploration and pull a little closer to their
parents. When the parents leave this tends to lead infants to attempt to bring them back by a
reaction such as crying or looking for them, with less concentration of the room and toys
(Berger, 2017). When the parent’s return, infants should seek out re-engagement and, if anxious,
seek comfort. Following the second separation, a similar response occurs with more intensity.
According to Ainsworth, these infants’ relationships are categorized as securely attached (Type
B) since their behavior coincides to theoretical projections about how infants should act in
relation to their main caregiver if they have formed a good attachment. Type B attachment
children have a secure base and are available for comfort with a worthwhile image of themselves
for comfort. Even when separated securely attached children have confidence, they will see their
parent again. They have an unworried expectation of attachment and warmth between people and
is also shown in being able to accept some contact with the stranger. Sensitive parenting that
Running Head: Attachment Development in the Case Study of Hedley
pays attention, nurturant, and balanced infant-parent exchanges are linked to Type B (Berger,
In contrast, some infants seem incapable or reluctant to use their parents as secure
sources from which to study, and they are termed insecure. When insecure infants are stressed by
the absence of parents, and behave uncertainly upon the return, looking for contact and
interaction but indignantly snubbing it when it is offered. These infants are typically considered
insecure-resistant or uncertain (Type C). They lack the belief the parent will return, or that
comfort will be effective upon return, failing to use parents as a source of comfort. Lack of
worthiness for affection to themselves from their parents occurs and rejects strangers who
attempt to console them (Berger, 2017).
Other infants that were observed who exhibited insecurities seemed little concern with
their parent’s absence. Instead of acknowledging their parents they actively eluded interaction
and ignored their parents’ efforts. This is known as insecure-avoidant attachments (Type A). A
child with Type A often turns away from instead of towards the parent. They regularly are not
upset at separation and tends not to get close to the parent even when they are reunited. The child
expects the relationship will be difficult and anticipates inappropriate responses with lack of
solid feeling of themselves as worthy of affection. Infants classified as Type C and Type A is
likely to have parents who over or under encourage and fail to make their behaviors reliant on
infant behavior and appear cold or rejecting, sometimes acts awkwardly. The child will
commonly exhibit clingy and dependent behavior but will be rejecting of the attachment figure
when they engage in interaction emotionally. The child fails to develop any feelings of security
from the attachment figure. This behavior results from an inconsistent level of response to their
needs from the primary caregiver (Berger, 2017).
Running Head: Attachment Development in the Case Study of Hedley
Behavior that is disoriented and altogether shows conflicting patterns with incomplete
movements and displaying apprehensive actions towards their parents are described as
disorganized behavior (Type D). It appears these infants have been mistreated by their parents.
They will turn to themselves for comfort and display dazed or confused mentality and show
repetitive or stereotyped movements. One feature of parenting behavior that seems to be linked
to attachment security is the expression of emotion and emotional responses by both parents and
infants. Type C displayed the highest incidences of emotional events followed by Type B, with
Type A displaying the lowest. Results express how parent’s differential sensitivity to their
child’s emotional communications, and to negative and positive emotions, can be a significant
influence leading to children’s developing different types of IWMs (Berger, 2017).
Case Study Analysis
Hedley displays behaviors of anxious-ambivalent attachment. Children may experience
insecure-resistant or anxious-ambivalent (Type C) attachment style when they have a parent who
is sometimes there for them but sometimes isn’t. Joseph visits are inconsistent and not attentive
to Hedley’s needs. Type C parents tend to be irregularly available or rewarding, then without
explanation unavailable and having a lack of rapport between them and the child, leaving the
child confused and frustrated. Parents who form this style of an attachment may regularly
though inadvertently look to their kids to meet their needs instead of vice versa. Joseph displays
this by seeking comfort from his son. A display of “emotional hunger” that withdraws the child
and acts as an unfulfilling alternate for nurturance and real love. Consequently, when the child is
around the parent who isn’t meeting his emotional needs, the child may feel clingy, desperate, or
anxious. Children will tend to cling to their attachment figure and often act desperate for their
Running Head: Attachment Development in the Case Study of Hedley
attention. As they grow older, they often go to extremes to gain their caregiver’s attention (Rees,
In the working model, a parent needs to be attentive and conscientious in relationships to
get needs met with a child with Type C. When children grow up with Type C they have
difficulty trusting that others will be there for them when they need them. They may also
continue to feel clingy or insecure in their adult relationships. This is why, as parents, it’s
essential that we do not use our children to make us feel better or loved. Anxious-ambivalent
children whose caregiver have been availability unpredictable, at times being responsive and at
other times remiss, during infancy develop to show extreme dependence on their caregiver and
strive for attentiveness. This intense dependency on the child’s caregiver interferes with the
development of independence, self-regulation, and attention-regulation including attention focus.
Studies found during a problem-solving task, 24-month-old toddlers spend less time focusing on
task show less positive affect and more negative affect, display more weariness than toddlers
with secure attachment style (Rees, 2007).
Several factors contribute to the formation of Type C between parent and child. The key
element in the Type C attachment pattern is inconsistent attunement in the relationship between
the child and the parent. Research has found that the value of the relationship amongst the
parents, plays an essential role in the spread of specific attachment patterns from one generation
to the next (Catlett, 2019). Consequently, a child replicates the attachment strategies of their
parent. The parents’ parenting methods tend to imitate the specific attachment pattern they
developed as children with their own parents. Due to the unreliable and inconsistent parenting
these parents and caregivers received themselves as children will experience powerful feelings of
Running Head: Attachment Development in the Case Study of Hedley
emotional hunger toward their child. They act in ways that are insensitive and pushy when they
misperceive emotional hunger with a sincere love for their child. These parents can be overprotective, or try to live vicariously through their child, or be focused on their child’s appearance
and performance (Catlett, 2019).
Intervention for troubled infant-caregiver relationships is a key strategy for the promotion
of development and prevention of longitudinal development disruption. Early intervention is
possible if professionals can recognize infants and children who are at increased risk on the
source of the caregiver’s vulnerability particularly, a parent with a background of instability,
neglect, abuse, or personality complications should be high importance for early intervention
services. For the sake of our children, it is essential that we get our adult needs met by other
adults. It’s important to evaluate how often we turn to our children to make us feel good within
ourselves. We also need to pay attention to how much of the time we are distracted and
inconsistent in how we relate or respond to our kids (Firestone, 2015). Studies on human brain
network triggering, recommends sufficient parenting involves the implementation of neural
circuitry motivating emotion, empathy, as well as cognitive abilities such as attention and
decision-making. So, deficiencies across these areas in parents who may have experienced early
misfortune have solid repercussions for the care of their child. Therefore, it is important for
interventions to take into concern the caregivers past when addressing the value of childcaregiver interactions, such as aiming at improving and encouraging the caregiver’s ability for
empathic comprehension of the child. Psychodynamic methods are centered on the main idea
that the parent should come to identify the specific ways in which their own past effects were
existing interaction with their child. For the broken parent figure, the central clinical issue often
Running Head: Attachment Development in the Case Study of Hedley
is how to reintegrate traumatized occurrences and related feelings. Some methods are used with
parental figures with attachment-related trauma to control anger and effect, urging more adaptive
ways to maintain negative influence conditions, and developing the patience of negative child
influence conditions (Komiti et al., 2015). Other caregivers will need more intense individual
therapy which can focus on resolving past trauma. Many psychotherapy method objectives are to
improve the reflective ability in the caregiver and emphasis on making correlations between the
distressed caregiver’s own difficulties in the past and the current issues in their relationship with
their child (Komiti et al., 2015)
Early intervention is critical and effective in promoting secure attachment in children.
Anxious-ambivalent attachment issue can hinder a child’s development and can affect them in
their adulthood among relationships and their well-being. It’s imperative that Joseph obtains
early interventions to obtain tools and educate the understanding of child-development,
addressing his history, and engaging in parent/child activities. Josephs profound ability is critical
for Hedley’s development. Joseph can think about and ruminate on the surroundings his child
and support his developing self-regulation to prevent and to avoid further attachment issues.
Running Head: Attachment Development in the Case Study of Hedley
Berger, K. S. (2017). The developing person through the life span. New York: Worth ,
MacMillan Learning.
Catlett, J. (2019, March 14). Anxious Attachment: Understanding Insecure Anxious Attachment.
Retrieved May 09, 2019, from or indulgent (more responsive than demanding), A child’s
characteristics produced from permissive parenting style spoilt, immature, self-centered,
poor self-control
Running Head: Attachment Development in the Case Study of Hedley
Firestone, L. (2015). How Your Attachment Style Affects Your Parenting. Retrieved May 09,
2019, from
Jägerab, S., Crossa, D., Howard, A., & Purvisa, K. (2017, August). Attention focus and selftouch in toddlers: The moderating effect of attachment security. Retrieved May 09, 2019,
Komiti, A., Newman, L., & Sivaratnam, C. (2015). Attachment and early brain development –
neuroprotective interventions in infant-caregiver therapy. Retrieved May 09, 2019, from
Rees C. (2007). Childhood attachment. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the
Royal College of General Practitioners, 57(544), 920–922.
Wright, B., & Edginton, E. (2016). Evidence-Based Parenting Interventions to Promote Secure
Attachment: Findings From a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Global pediatric
health, 3, 2333794X16661888. doi:10.1177/2333794X16661888

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