Free course

Attachment in the early years

Free statement of participation on completion

This free course, Attachment in the early years, covers theory and research in the area of attachment in early childhood. In the 1950s, John Bowlby was the first person to develop a theory about the significance of early attachments between caregivers and very young children. His work has stimulated a massive and very productive field of research with important implications for childcare. This OpenLearn course describes Bowlby's theory and the work that has built on it, illustrated with video recordings of the assessment of attachment in a laboratory setting and a talk by an eminent attachment researcher.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe attachment classifications and how they are assessed
  • describe the features of caregiving that influence attachment, and the significance of attachment for lifespan development
  • discuss why the attachment system is an adapted and adaptive mechanism
  • recognise the need for ethical conduct in research carried out with children
  • describe the ethics principles of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and explain how research can be conducted ethically in line with these principles.