Five years from now, I will have graduated from college. I hope to have a BA in psychology and a job working with kids. I love kids. Actually, I have my life partially planned out already: when I was 12, I decided I would never have kids of my own. I wanted to adopt a little girl and name her "Maya." That dream still holds.
That being said, I think the concept from Psychology 1001 that I will remember most five years from now is the Attachment Theory, which looks at the attachment between a child and his or her mother. As discussed in class, there are three types of attachment: secure, avoidant, and anxious-ambivalent. The theory was tested by having a stranger be in the same room as a mother and her child, and after a while, having the mother leave and return to see how the child would react. Children with a "secure" attachment viewed their mothers as safe bases - they cried when their mothers left and calmed down when they returned. Children with an "avoidant" attachment seemed indifferent to their mothers' actions and refused to acknowledge their mothers' return. Children with "anxious-ambivalent" attachment to their mothers tried both to cling to their mothers and push them away at the same time, due to their disorganized coping behavior.
The reason I believe that the Attachment Theory is the concept I will remember most from this class is that I want to have a secure attachment with my future child. When the professor showed statements pertaining to each type of attachment in class and told us to judge ourselves based on those statements, I realized that I have more of an avoidant relationship with my parents. I'm the type of person who doesn't like to make it apparent when I'm upset, and I tend to want to deal with my problems by myself because I don't want to inconvenience anyone. Because of this, I went through a lot of depression in high school and it wasn't healthy by any means. I don't want my future child to go through the same thing.
I mentioned earlier that I want to adopt a child when I get older. The Attachment Theory that we discussed in class seemed to pertain only to children and their biological mothers, and one of the main things I was left wondering is whether or not it applies to adopted children as well.
This video shows how attachments can be made with adopted children:
Even after watching this video, I am left with a few questions: How early in life does attachment type become apparent? Can attachment type be changed (say you adopt a child who has a history of anxious-ambivalent attachment with her caretakers - can you still form a secure attachment with her?)