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PDF version Introduction What is attachment? Children are considered to be attached if they tend to seek proximity to and contact with a specific caregiver in times of distress, illness and tiredness.
In adulthood, attachment representations shape the way adults feel about the strains and stresses of intimate relationships, including parent-child relationships, and the way in which the self is perceived.
Development of attachment Attachment develops in four phases. These signals are mostly of human origin e. During the second phase, probably first by smell and then by sight, the baby develops preference for one or more caregivers — the phase of orienting and signalling to one or several specific persons.
Not until the infant is able to show active attachment behaviour, such as actively seeking proximity to and following the attachment figure, does the infant enters the third phase, the phase of attachment proper — staying near a specific person by means of signalling and movement.
Explaining individual differences in attachment Ainsworth et al. The reactions of the infants to their reunion with the caregiver after a brief separation were used to assess how much trust the children had in the accessibility of their attachment figure.
The procedure consists of eight episodes, of which the last seven ideally take three minutes. Infants are confronted with three stressful components: Infants who actively seek proximity to their caregivers on reunion, communicate their feelings of stress and distress openly and then readily return to exploration are classified as secure B.
Infants who do not seem to be distressed and ignore or avoid the caregiver after being reunited although physiological research shows their arousal 3 are classified as insecure-avoidant A.
Infants who combine strong contact maintenance with contact resistance, or remain inconsolable without being able to return to explore the environment, are classified as insecure-ambivalent C.
Besides the classic tripartite ABC classifications, Main and Solomon4 proposed a fourth classification, disorganized attachment Dwhich is not discussed here.
Research Context The basic model of explaining differences in attachment relationships assumes that sensitive or insensitive parenting determines infant attachment in- security. Lack of responsiveness or inconsistent sensitivity has indeed been found to be associated with insecurity in children, and consistent sensitive responsiveness with secure bonds.
Key Research Questions Crucial research questions explore the causal role of sensitive parenting in the development of infant attachment security.
These questions have been addressed in twin studies comparing attachments of mono- and dizygotic twins within the same family, and in experimental intervention studies designed to enhance parental sensitivity in order to improve the infant attachment relationship.
Recent Research Results Four twin studies on child-mother attachment security using behavioural genetic modelling have been published to date. Three of the four studies document a minor role for genetic influences on differences in attachment security and a rather substantial role for shared environment.
Differences in attachment relationships are mainly caused by nurture rather than nature, although the bias to become attached is inborn.
Is sensitive parenting the core ingredient of the shared environment? In general, attachment insecurity appeared more difficult to change than maternal insensitivity.
When interventions were more effective in enhancing parental sensitivity, they were also more effective in enhancing attachment security, which experimentally supports the notion of a causal role of sensitivity in shaping attachment.
Human beings are born with the innate bias to become attached to a protective caregiver. But infants develop different kinds of attachment relationships: These individual differences are not genetically determined but are rooted in interactions with the social environment during the first few years of life.Attachment theory may sound very scientific and boring to many parents.
But in fact, it is quite interesting, because it tells us that forming a strong relationship with your child is essential for their healthy development.. Every mother and father should study this theory, at least briefly, to understand the importance of secure attachment in their baby's life.
Nov 23, · While attachment occurs naturally, the quality of that attachment bond varies. A secure attachment ensures your child will feel understood and experience optimal brain development, laying the groundwork for feeling safe, eager to learn, self-aware, trust and empathy.
A recent story in the news highlights the importance of a secure attachment in the early years of a child's life.
The long-term consequences of inadequacies in caregiving and in the foster system can be seen in the high rates of homelessness and unemployment in these children as they enter the adult world. Attachment, a major developmental milestone in the child’s life, remains an important issue throughout the lifespan.
In adulthood, attachment representations shape the way adults feel about the strains and stresses of intimate relationships, including parent-child relationships, and the . Another theory behind attachment and bonding is John Bowlby’s theory of attachment. Bowlby believed in something called “Monotropy” This is the theory that babies need to form one main attachment and that this relationship would be special and of more importance to the child than any other.
Attachment love is the basis for all of our important trust relationships, the relationships where we know we can count on someone and they have our back. Those of us who work with vulnerable children need to attend to attachment because attachment love is the basis for mental health.