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2000 word essay excluding references on
1. Attachment-based interventions: theoretical background:
You are part of a clinical research team developing attachment-based interventions for at-risk families and children. The team is writing a report for a funding body (i.e. intelligent non-experts), and your role is to outline the theoretical context for the interventions – explaining what attachment is, why it is important, and how programmes aimed at promoting attachment issues are important for child well-being.

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Attachment–based interventions have emerged from the attachment theory that is joint work of both John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth & Bowlby, 1991). The attachment theory encompasses both normal socio-emotional development and psyhopathology and it draws its influences form fields such as ethology, cross-cultural research, cybernetics, information processing, cognitive and developmental psychology, and psychoanalysis, since Bowlby was a trained psychoanalyst (Bretherton, 1992). The basic tenets of theory were put forth by Bowlby, and Mary Ainsworth further developed and expanded the theory by providing a methodology, an innovative framework (the separation-reunion paradigm dubbed “the strange situation“) intended for validating Bowlby's concepts empirically. She is also responsible for introducing some of new directions the theory has taken by contributing with the concept of the attachment figure as a secure base from which an infant can explore the world and the concept of maternal sensitivity to infant signals and its role in the development of infant-mother attachment patterns (Bretherton, 1992).
The first basic blueprint of attachment theory was consisted of Bowlby's five papers completed by 1962, with three of them published: “The Nature of the Child’s Tie to His Mother” (1958), “Separation Anxiety” (1959), and “Grief and Mourning in Infancy and Early Childhood” (1960) (Bretherton, 1992). The theory attempts to explain how an early relationship developed between a child and its caregiver (referring to the maternal role primarily) contributes to psychological well-being or later psychopathology. The concept of attachment is based on the idea that to thrive emotionally, children need a close and continuous caregiving relationship. The term attachment is used to describe the affective bond that develops between an infant and its caregiver (Bowlby, 1982; Ainsworth, 1978). Based on the available empirical evidence at the time, Bowlby inferred that in order to grow up mentally healthy, “the infant and young child should experience a...

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