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Session 9/15

Page 4/10 The three insecure attachment behaviours

The three insecure attachment patterns


We will now look at the three examples of insecure attachment behaviour and discuss how to recognize and respond to each of the situations given below:

Each of these types of attachment strategies can be expressed more or less intensely. Therefore, there is a probability that your child only displays a few of the behavioural traits.

Many foster parents experience that they are met with rejection or anger – even if they practice secure caregiver behaviour. In this instance, Bowlby’s theory on the child’s internal working model proves very useful. In its early relationships with adults the child has formed an emotional set of expectations based on the interaction that controls his or her social behaviour. The child might not respond to your attempts to provide good and loving care for it because it may have certain negative expectations developed by earlier negative experiences of for example betrayal, mistreatment, lack of commitment etc.

The illustration exemplifies a caregiver practicing secure caregiver behaviour but is met by the child’ earlier insecure experiences, which has formed their internal working model. To develop a more positive internal working model within the child can take a long time. However, it can be accomplished through repetitive positive experiences within the foster care relationship.