Protection from Predators: Bowlby’s Theory
DOI link for Protection from Predators: Bowlby’s Theory
Protection from Predators: Bowlby’s Theory book
In the first volume of his trilogy Attachment and Loss, Dr John Bowlby provides a masterly theoretical synthesis and review of the literature on the formation of attachments in infancy. His central thesis is that attachment behavior has an instinctual basis akin to reproductive and parental behavior; that it is best understood in terms of self-maintaining or control systems; and that such behavior serves the function of protecting the child from predators. The importance of physical contact led to a consideration of the theory of "protection from predators" suggested by Bowlby. On this theory, contact and proximity with a mother-figure are explained in terms of the protection they provide in the face of attacks from predators. Bowlby argues that auto-erotic sucking is a nipple-substitute for the deprived infant monkey, and he regards it as a form of attachment behavior. The stress of separation is recalled that Bowlby distinguished between nutritive sucking and non-nutritive sucking.