Psychologist Mary Ainsworth believed that the quality of attachment is quite different for all children. Because infants do not know how to express attachment as adults do, Ainsworth developed a unique assessment procedure called “Strange Situation”, designed to study attachment in young children. Mary Ainsworth rated the intensity of three different types of observed behaviors on a scale of 1 to 7:
- Children of secure attachment are confident that the mother, or another object of attachment, will be able to meet their needs. The child looks for an object of attachment whenever he or she encounters something he or she does not like or is uncomfortable with.
- Independent-style babies are more independent and do not rely on an attachment object to explore the world around them. Moreover, the infant’s independence is manifested not only physically but also emotionally; when stressed, the infant does not seek help and protection from the object of attachment.
- An insecure, resisting attachment style is characterized by the infant being wary or ambivalent toward the attachment object. He rejects the attachment object when it tries to contact or interact with him but sometimes behaves in a dependent or compulsive manner.