Tuesday, April 26, 2016

KSA of the Day: The Concept of Attachment and Bonding

Attachment and bonding may or may not come up on the social work licensing exam. But they'll come up every day you're a living and breathing social worker (and person). Preparing for the exam is a good excuse to gain a better, deeper understanding of the thinking and theorizing on the subject.

What springs to mind when you hear "attachment and bonding"? How about John Bowlby? How about Mary Ainsworth? How about Harlow's monkey?

Let's start with the monkey.

Harlow's monkey gets milk from a fake wire monkey, but clings to the cozier fake cloth monkey. Attachment and bonding!

Attachment theory can't be summed up quite as quickly. But how's this: Attachment theory posits that attachment isn't a byproduct of other psychological drives, but an essential drive in and of itself. Attachment is so crucial that the quality of early attachments affects the way a person relates to others for their entire lifetime. Attachment researchers have identified several typical patterns of attachment between infants and caregivers--some secure and some insecure--and witnessed their longterm stickiness. Young children with a certain attachment pattern grow into adults with that same attachment pattern.

But don't just take it from this blog. Read up. Here are some places to get smart and smarter about attachment:
That should do it to get your prepared for attachment and bonding questions on the ASWB exam.
Stay cozy and good luck!

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