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John Bowlby - From Psychoanalysis to Ethology. Unravelling the Roots of Attachment Theory

  • ID: 2180789
  • Book
  • April 2011
  • Region: Global
  • 210 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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In recent years, attachment theory has become established as a major theory in developmental psychology. Work by the founders of attachment theory, John Bowlby (1907–1990) and Mary Ainsworth (1913–1999) has been voted among the five most revolutionary studies in child psychology. Much work has been carried out on attachment–related issues, but the history of attachment theory itself remains under–researched. This book bridges an important gap in our knowledge of the history of developmental psychology.

Drawing on unique evidence from oral histories and little–known archive material, John Bowlby From Psychoanalysis to Ethology offers a description of the cross–fertilization of attachment theory and ethology. Frank van der Horst describes the influential relationship between Bowlby and British ethologist Robert Hinde, which led Bowlby to rewrite psychoanalysis in the light of ethological principles. He also documents Bowlby s close personal contacts with animal psychologist Harry Harlow and psychoanalyst James Robertson, and his cooperation with Mary Ainsworth. By exploring the significance of these relationships, he sheds light on Bowlby s gradual shift from psychoanalysis to ethology a shift which proved to be of great significance not only in his own work supporting children but in the work of developmental psychologists globally.

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About the Author.

Foreword (Professor Jerome Kagan).



1 Biographical Notes and Early Career.

2 Loneliness in Infancy: The WHO Report and Issues of Separation.

3 Working with James Robertson: The Importance of Observation.

4 Bowlby s Acquaintance with Ethology: The Work of Lorenz, Tinbergen, and Hinde.

5 From Theoretical Claims to Empirical Evidence: Harry Harlow and the Nature of Love.

6 Mary Ainsworth′s Role in the Study of Attachment.



Name Index.

Subject Index.

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Frank C. P. van der Horst
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