A Child's Attachment, And Their Effects On Children's Personality

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Abundant research has been conducted with reference to parenting, attachment, and their effects on a child’s personality. The most notable research is credited to Mary Ainsworth, John Bowlby, and Harry Harlow. These behavioral scientists summarize that a child’s attachment style coupled with the parenting style of a caregiver can have long-term effects that are capable of impacting a child’s behavior and personality. John Bowlby was a British psychoanalyst, medical doctor, and war veteran credited with his studies relating to attachment and bonding. Bowlby’s theory rationalizes how attachment behaviors are triggered when an individual senses fear, fatigue, or pain. Bowlby felt that human attachment was just as important as “the need for food and sex yet considered attachment as a homeostatic control system operating within the context of other behavior control systems” (New World Encyclopedia, 2013, p.2). If the child is experiencing stress then the child will rely upon the caregiver for support, otherwise the child feels safe in exploring and discovering in his surroundings while the caregiver is providing a secure base. If the child feels his basic needs are not being properly met then the outcome is an attachment that has been disturbed or disrupted (Levy et al., 2015, p. 198). Mary Ainsworth was a student of Bowlby’s in the 1950’s and became interested in the study of attachment. Ainsworth began her studies of attachment with African babies in Uganda through
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