ISBN: 1-891340-45-X

Mary Ainsworth: Attachment and the Growth of Love With Robert Marvin, Ph.D.

Institutional DVD price: $ 250.00


Mary Ainsworth’s “Strange Situation” is now basic to understandings of infant-parent interactions and, thus, later emotional development. Working in close collaboration with the British psychiatrist John Bowlby, Ainsworth gave us new understandings of the huge impact very early emotional experiences have on personality development across the life span.

The production details the developmental course of attachment behaviors and the different patterns that are captured by the controlled observational techniques of the “Strange Situation.” Using archival (including the Harlow primate studies) and new film sequences, the video also gives students a sense of how psychological research is conducted and used in therapeutic situations.



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Review 1

"The film Mary Ainsworth: Attachment and the Growth of Love is simply superb. Not only does it beautifully portray the career of Ainsworth, one of the most significant social scientists of the last century, but it also provides a lucid tutorial on attachment theory and assessment. The film is wonderfully narrated by Robert Marvin, and the graphics are extraordinary. It is perfect for classroom presentation because it is clear, authoritative, and completely accurate. Instructors need spend no time correcting misinformation as happens so often with films made for classroom use. Furthermore, by tracing the history of Ainsworth’s work from Africa to Baltimore to Virginia, the film dispels many misconceptions about attachment theory; for example that it has a Eurocentric bias.

"Viewers will learn a great deal about infant-caregiver attachment and its origins in sensitive care. The case chosen to illustrate secure attachment is perfect, and the films in the Strange Situation are completely clear. Any viewer can see what is meant by ‘secure base’ behavior, ‘haven of safety’, and ‘attachment-exploration balance’. They also will get an understanding about how the assessment procedure should be assessed. Finally, the animations of avoidant, resistant, and disorganized attachment are most instructive. This was a superior solution to the showing actual insecure cases, which is difficult to justify ethically, and showing faked procedures. The presentation was completely understandable.

"This film will be excellent for use in the classroom, for research training, and for workshops designed for professionals in many fields. It would be valuable viewing for social workers, clinical psychologists, pediatricians, daycare providers, preschool teachers and others. It is highly recommended."

--Alan Sroufe, William Harris Professor of Child Psychology, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

Review 2

"This DVD describes the life and work of Mary D. Ainsworth, Ph.D., one of the most important researchers of attachment theory. The biographical information explains how Ainsworth’s work stemmed from her personal search to understand and have attachments in her own life. The focus of her work is described by the narrator as the ‘scientific study of love and how it develops.’ Ainsworth was heavily influenced by the work of John Bowlby, M.D., who realized that human attachments are formed, based on the tie between infant and caregiver. A primary focus of this DVD is Ainsworth’s extensive observations of interactions between infants and their primary caregivers (usually mothers), in both natural and experimental situations. The behaviors and patterns discovered by Ainsworth through these studies, and the implications on human love relationships throughout the course of a lifetime, were a significant contribution to psychology.

"The DVD is narrated by Robert Marvin, Ph.D., now Director of the Mary D. Ainsworth Child-Parent Attachment Clinic, University of Virginia Medical Center. The quality is good and includes personal historical photographs of Ainsworth, film and animation of experiments from the Baltimore Study, photographs of Ainsworth working amongst mothers and their children in Uganda from the Uganda Study, and more. The narrator has a particularly valuable perspective having worked with Ainsworth for many years beginning as an undergraduate psychology student.

"The progression of Ainsworth’s research and career is well documented in this short DVD. It ends with a brief adult attachment interview and explanation, which seemed underdeveloped. Adding another few minutes on adult attachment issues, discussing theories and successful solutions further, would have brought the topic full-circle. Recommended – particularly for college students in Psychology. "

--Robin Migliaccio Ashford, Reference Librarian, Watzek Library, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR

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