The Role of Attachment in Infancy Is Vital in Subsequent Emotional Development

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“Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space” McLeod (2009), as a core component of social and emotional development, the necessity and role of caregivers is a heavily researched area. Theories differ on the impairment that a crippled or complete lack of attachment causes to an infant in terms of social, emotional or intellectual development. These theories range from Harlow’s unethical work with infant rhesus monkeys to Chisholm’s study of Romanian orphans, the work remains relevant however in order to be aware of how to support or setback the deleterious affects that studies appear to be congruent on occur in infants of abuse or that have been abandoned. The paper Total…show more content…
Within an ideal attachment relationship as suggested by Mary Ainsworth (1963, 1967) in the strange situation procedure, the caregiver acts as a secure base where to the infant can return during exploration of the environment if the infant feels insecure or fearful. John Bowlby (1969, 1988) proposed the maternal deprivation hypothesis based on the belief that infants are biologically predisposed to form attachments to a caregiver, founded upon the caregivers ability to respond appropriately to the infants needs. The maternal deprivation hypothesis proposes long-term damage due to absence of attachment with a caregiver during the critical or sensitive period, within the first two to three years of life. Caregivers responses to emotional cues through such things as affect attunement, in which the care-giver is sensitive and attuned to the infants emotions, as well as the care-givers own representation of their childhood experiences, as indicated by such thing such as AAI are known to predict infant attachment to a caregiver. The AAI or ‘Adult Attachment Interview’ (George et al., 1996) is a semi-structured questionnaire focusing on the participant’s experience of their childhood relative
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