A well-known British psychologist by the name of John Bowlby (1969) emphasized that attachment theory focuses on the process by which strong and enduring relationships develop are maintained and can be modified.” In this view, attachment theory is considered as an excellent foundation for parenting and a great explanation for adult behavior; however, in the case of Brady his father displayed the opposite. The behavior Brady’s father Steve displayed towards him was very aggressive. According to Bowlby (1973) repeated threats can leave a child or adolescent feeling intense anxiety, anger, and rage. Instead of Brady’s father developing a specific positive emotional bond with Brady he displayed numerous of signs of anxiety, anger, and rage. Therefore, the behavior of his father caused Brady to develop the same disruptive behavior according to Bowlby’s description.
In the case involving Brady and his father Steve there were several exhibiting behaviors that can be explained by attachment theory. Additionally, psychologists have proposed two main theories that are affiliated with the attachments. The learning theory and the behaviorist theory of attachment which emphasized that attachment is a set of learned behaviors (Dollard & Miller, 1950). The based for the learning of attachment in the case of Brady and his father can be viewed through four basic concepts of attachment theory: (1) secure attachment, (2) anxious- avoidant attachment, (3) anxious- resistant attachment, and (4) disorganized attachment. In the case of Brady; secure attachment can be viewed as a protective factor which was not attained from him father. Instead of protecting Brady and his feelings, Steve did not display any signs of security other than abuse which causes their relationship to be dysfunctional and created insecurity among his son. Furthermore, Steve disruptive interaction with his son caused Brandy to develop an anxious-avoidant attachment which he tried avoiding certain conversation during sessions with the social worker when his father was present. Brady also tries to avoid physical contact with his father to cease arguments, distress, and negative feelings. When anxious-resistant attachment is present, Brady instantly forms a nervous demeanor. For instance, during session with the social worker the present of his father made Brady a bit more anxiety than the one on one session. Brady’s reactions when his father is present showed signs of fear and control which leads to the disorganized attachment. During the disorganized attachment; Brady’s body gesture showed signs of abuse by displaying nervousness and confusion whenever his father would speak in his present. However, disorganized attachment did not only affected Brady but Steve appeared to be confused as well when he did not noticed his disruptive behavior was a reflection of his son disruptive behavior.
Bowlby, J (1973). Attachment and loss: Vol. 2. Separation: Anxiety and anger. New York: Basic Books.
Bowlby J. (1969). Attachment. Attachment and loss: Vol. 1. Loss. New York: Basic Books.
Dollard, J. & Miller, N.E. (1950). Personality and psychotherapy. New York:McGraw-Hill