Attachment Theory: Children's Attachment to a Caregivers

833 WordsFeb 12, 20134 Pages
Securely attached children tend to have caregivers who are responsive to their needs. Image by Jeff Osborne What is Attachment? Attachment is an emotional bond to another person. Psychologist John Bowlby was the first attachment theorist, describing attachment as a "lasting psychological connectedness between human beings" (Bowlby, 1969, p. 194). Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. According to Bowlby, attachment also serves to keep the infant close to the mother, thus improving the child's chances of survival. The central theme of attachment theory is that mothers who are available and responsive to their infant's needs establish a sense…show more content…
Children who are punished for relying on a caregiver will learn to avoid seeking help in the future. Problems with Attachment What happens to children who do not form secure attachments? Research suggests that failure to form secure attachments early in life can have a negative impact on behavior in later childhood and throughout the life. Children diagnosed with oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently display attachment problems, possibly due to early abuse, neglect or trauma. Clinicians suggest that children adopted after the age of six months have a higher risk of attachment problems. While attachment styles displayed in adulthood are not necessarily the same as those seen in infancy, research indicates that early attachments can have a serious impact on later relationships. For example, those who are securely attached in childhood tend to have good self-esteem, strong romantic relationships and the ability to self-disclose to others. As adults, they tend to have healthy, happy and lasting relationships. For more information, see this article on attachment styles. Did you enjoy this article? Sign up for the free Psychology Newsletter to get the latest psychology updates and to learn more about diverse topics including social behavior, personality, development, memory, creativity and much more. Subscribe today! Attachment Theory * Attachment Styles * Attachment
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