In your own words briefly describe the four stages of attachment identified by Bowlby and the four types of attachment identified by Ainsworth.

The four stages of attachment that belonged to John Bowlby are Pre-attachment, Attachment in the Making, Organized, goal directed attachment, and Formation of reciprocal partnerships. Pre-attachment is when the infant is establishing a relationship with the caregiver but the relationship is weak and can be interrupted by anyone and there is no fear factor with the infant. Attachment in the Making is when the infant is starting to connect with the caregiver and also starting to understand the difference between the caregiver and strangers. Organized, goal- directed attachment is when the child understands who the caregiver is and feels secure around them and they have a connection. If a caregiver leaves even if a stranger is present, the child is uncomfortable and will react with crying and trying to run after caregiver. Formation of reciprocal partnerships is when the child is a little older and because of established relationships the child understands that the caregiver if has left will return shortly this a stage that has developed a strong bond and trust.

Mary Ainsworth four stages of attachment are securely attached infants, insecure-avoidant infants, insecure-resistant/ambivalent, and Disorganized-disoriented infants. The structure of Ainsworth’s work is very similar to Bowlby but at first there were only three attachments for Ainsworth the fourth Disorganized infants was established later. “Disorganized-disoriented infants are thought to be the least securely attached. They exhibit a great degree of confusion and contradictory behaviors during both separation and reunion situations.” (Mossler, R., 2014)

Analyze how attachment experiences might affect the psychosocial, cognitive and physical development of children and adolescents.

Attachment experiences affect the psychosocial, cognitive and physical development of children and adolescents in many ways. In children attachment is what structures how they can react and handle situations as adults. If a caregiver is less attached then others then that can play a part into what happens later with the child as they head into adulthood. Lack of attachment and a unhealthy structure can cause children to lack attention and cause them to show less emotions and build walls. Positive attachments help children to have great social skills and communication skills. If a child is able to think clearly it would make cognitive development possibly function smoother because the influence would promote the thinking process and physically it might help children develop better in comparison to stress that can be placed on the body when the attachment isn’t present.


Mossler, R. (2014). Child and Adolescent Development. (2nd ed) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

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