Disorganised Attachment

Yesterday, I went to a Psychology conference with the author of an AQA Psychology textbook. There, we went through the entire AS syllabus (Approaches, Biopsychology, Psychopathology, Research Methods, Memory and Attachment) and he gave us some valuable exam tips, focusing specifically on essay writing and how to answer application questions. He mentioned some really interesting studies that we hadn’t studied previously and I came across an article that linked nicely to what we had been discussing.

The article in question is called ”Child Bonding Problem For Some Premature Babies Is ’Neurological Brain Effect’.”, and is about how prematurity in babies is linked to attachment problems later in life. I find attachment a very interesting topic in psychology, and as a premature baby myself I found this article intriguing. The article stated that 32% of premature babies showed symptoms of disorganised attachment at 18 months, compared with 17% of full-term children. Disorganised attachment is where a child displays conflicting behaviour within the parent-child relationship. The explanation for premature children having higher rates of disorganised attachment was linked to neurological abnormalities, whereas in full-term children it was due to the level of maternal sensitivity provided by parents. I hadn’t heard of disorganised attachment before, so decided to do some further research.

I found an article that explained disorganised attachment in a lot more detail. It described ideal attachment as having a relationship where the primary caregiver of the child provides a secure base from which the child can venture and explore independently but always return to a safe place. In comparison, when the primary caregiver is abusive, the child can be placed in a situation where they find the behaviour of their caregiver frightening and upsetting, so their instinct is to flee. However, the abusive caregiver can also provide the safety aspect which causes the child to stay. The article goes on to explain behaviours in children suffering from disorganised attachment as they move from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, and how people can heal from disorganised attachment.

I have linked the two articles below if anyone finds attachment an interesting topic and would like to read up on something different and not in the AS syllabus.



Hello world!

My name is Beth and I am in Year 12, currently studying Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Psychology AS Levels. I have always been interested in the sciences but more recently I have become even more motivated to pursue a career in medicine, as it combines the academic subjects I find interesting along with the enjoyment I get out of helping others.

I’ll be using this blog to write about my specific interests within the medical field and to discuss my experiences leading me closer to my end goal: becoming a doctor.