Center for Mental Health Promotion
Mary Ainsworth Plaque
Mary Ainsworth Commemorate 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. To celebrate Mary and her contributions, a substantial bronze plaque with her likeness and a summary of her work was commissioned (sculptor Bruce Papitto www.brucepapitto.com). 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 psychoanalytic 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. In honor of Ainsworth's achievements, Hopkins has decided to honor a female student for outstanding achievement. Here is the first recipient:
Note: The poster to the right of the plaque is G. Stanley Hall, Hopkins professor who is credited with a key role in distinguishing psychology from philosophy and education. In 1882 he was first president of the American Psychological Association. In 1884 he established the first experimental psychology laboratory in America at Johns Hopkins. He was a founder of the field of developmental (i.e., child) psychology. After Hopkins he became president of Clark University in Mass. and arranged for Sigmund Freud's only visit to America.
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.