The secured relationship between the infant with their mother proved beneficial for the kids, as they were seen to have more self-confidence, better friend circle, and better adult relationships. Meanwhile, the kids under the category of insecurely attached infants were found to display negative emotions like anger, irritation, etc. They were found to have several behavior problems like messing around with other kids etc. Thus, the study was beneficial for predicting the nature of the kid and proved to be helpful for the overall development of the kids by providing their mothers with an insight to their problems.
The Strange Situation test was found to be beneficial as it was highly controlled because of the repeated use of the same surroundings and the same timings which made the results comparable on the circumstances and cultures and had high internal validity. Similarly the same stranger was used for each child, and mother's behavior was always controlled. Further, the second advantage of this method was its simplicity. It involved easier study, and no equipment was required during the progress of the test which meant that the situation and its study could be replicated as many times as required.
However, there were several limitations related to the test. It was highly criticized for adopting an artificial environment and had caused distress in the child which affect the result immensely. Thus, the data could not be applied to the outer world and other related studies. Thus, the test had a low external validity. Further, Ainsworth et al. test only mother-infant relationship thus the data and results could not be compared to the other types of the relationship like father-child, child-grandparents, older sibling-infant relationships, etc. Further this study was accomplished using American women and their infants. The attachment is thought to be different for the varying nationalities and regions. Additionally, the un-natural surrounding was no included like hunger, need to pee, etc. (Barry, 2014)
The Strange Situation test has been developed into various spheres and has been used to study a range of attachments. A study by Prato-Previde et al. (2003) and Palmer and Custance (2008) used Strange Situation test for understanding the relationship between dogs and their caregivers. Several other types of research have also been done with the help of Strange Situation. The techniques that were devised by Ainsworth et al. in the Strange Situation Test is now a common tool used in the field of the psychiatry and psychology for examining the pattern of attachment between the mother and her child. (Lamb, 1985)
The study of dog-owner relationship/attachment was done by Prato-Previde et al. (2003) and Palmer and Custance (2008) who adopted Ainsworth’s Strange Situation Procedure (ASSP). Their study was strictly based on studying security, proximity and comfort-seeking behavior for the dog by predict the explorations by the dog in presence and absence of the owner and his behavior in the presence of any stranger. Their study was comprised of five episodes similar to the eight episodes of Ainsworth et al. The behavior in the presence of a dog was studied critically as to if the dog plays with the stranger or goes back to find his owner. The study by Prato Previde et al. (2003) suggested that the results and evidence were similar with the infant's behavior and that the dogs too had become attached to their owners. The results came in two categories namely the mutually exclusive categories’ and ‘Non-mutually exclusive categories’, where the former category was given to the dogs who were not able to sit and engage in social play simultaneously. The later one involved the dogs who were able to engage in vocalizing behavior like barking and tail-wagging at the same time. Further various studies have been done using SSP i.e. the Strange Situation Procedure where Korean families were compared with America families and their attachment pattern were studied.
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Barry, R. (2014). Mary Ainsworth's "Strange Situation". [online] getrevising. Available at: https://getrevising.co.uk/grids/mary_ainsworths_strange_situation [Accessed 27 Feb. 2016].