Mary Ainsworth Plaque
For almost 50 years, Mary Ainsworth’s attachment research from the early 1960’s to the mid 1970’s at Johns Hopkins has remained a cornerstone of developmental psychology.1 To celebrate Mary and her contributions, we have commissioned a substantial bronze plaque with her likeness and a summary of her work. The sculptor, Bruce Papitto (www.brucepapitto.com), specializes in monumental sculptures and smaller works that focus on bonds and protection. What could be more appropriate?
The accompanying photo shows the wax mold from which the 12” x 24” plaque is being cast. The text reads:
In collaboration with British psychiatrist John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth established a new paradigm in our understanding of infant socio-emotional development. Replacing psycho-analytic and behaviorist theories with a broadly integrative perspective based on ethology and cognitive psychology, Ainsworth and Bowlby emphasized the infant’s adaptive use of its primary caregiver as a Secure Base from which to explore and a Haven of Safety when distressed. ⸙ Following upon her groundbreaking observational research in Uganda, Ainsworth’s landmark Baltimore Longitudinal Study (1963-1964) developed concepts and measures that defined attachment research for generations. ⸙ The best known of these, the Strange Situation Procedure, was developed in these Ames Hall laboratories. It has been used to study the organization of infant attachment and exploratory behavior and the roles that maternal sensitivity, cooperation with ongoing behavior, availability, and acceptance play in the development of attachment security. ⸙ Mary Ainsworth’s research at Johns Hopkins is summarized in her classic volume Patterns of Attachment (1978/2015). In 2002 and again in 2016, members of the Society for Research in Child Development voted Patterns of Attachment the most revolutionary work in modern developmental psychology.
Although the department at Hopkins is today primarily devoted to the interface between psychology and brain science, they were delighted at the idea of a gift recognizing Mary Ainsworth’s contributions and have offered to install it near Mary’s office and the rooms where the Strange Situation was developed.
FUNDING THE PLAQUE AS A GROUP PROJECT
The total cost of the sculpture and casting will be about $7500. Rather than make this a gift from just one or a few individuals, it seemed more meaningful (and fun) to set up a Go Fund Me page on the internet and invite Mary Ainsworth’s core friends and “attachment descendants” to make this a group project. To get things going, Mary & Erik, Brian, Bob Marvin, Inge, and I have contributed some “seed money” which you’ll see reflected on the Go Fund Me site already.
We hope you will visit https://www.gofundme.com/mary-ainsworth-plaque and help us reach our fund-raising goal. We will provide a progress report at the reception. Any funds beyond the $7500 will go to the Bowlby-Ainsworth Awards program to help with the cost of having the award pieces made.
We appreciate your joining in. Please feel free to invite others who have followed in Mary Ainsworth’s footsteps to participate as well. Go Fund Me makes it easy to alert friends to the project on Facebook. The site will stay open for contributions until March 31.
We are hoping to have the finished plaque to share at the Attachment Reception.
See you in Baltimore!
1. See the new preface Everett, Inge, and Brian contributed to the 2015 reissue of Mary’s Patterns of Attachmet). Oral History
John Bowlby and Attachment Theory
Sir Richard Bowlby discusses his fathers family and education, his training with Joan Riviere and Melanie Klein, his work from Priory Gate school through the Attachment and Loss trilogy, and comments on his father's views of key concepts and the future of attachment study. Illustrated with family photographs, historic video clips, and examples of attachment behavior. Appropriate for undergraduate and graduate teaching and general interest. (E. Waters interviewer.
Remembering Mary Ainsworth
Drs. Robert Marvin and Everett Waters share recollections of Mary Ainsworth from her years at Johns Hopkins through her later years in Charlottesville, Virginia. Topics include her close collaboration with John Bowlby, her perspective on the importance of careful observation and of the secure base concept, and the development of attachment study from the controversial beginnings to a place in the mainstream of developmental psychology. Unillustrated edition appropriate for graduate seminars.
The Strange Situation
Everett Waters provides a overview of the Strange Situation concepts and procedure. Examples of A,B, and C classifications. From a 2001 BBC project aired in Europe. Intended for use in undergraduate teaching.
Episode by episode overview of the Strange Situation procedure. Two examples of each major (ABC) calssification and examples of "disorganized" behavior. Presented and discussed by Dr. Everett Waters.
The Circle Of Security
Dr. Robert Marvin's Consortium colloquium presentation of his innovative attachment based prevention/intervention program. Combines observational assessment, short term psychodynamic interventions with mother, viewing of own and others' behavior on videotape, and supervised parent-child intervention.