why is attachment important in the child development

They are better able to control their negative emotions in stressful situations. В
They develop better social competence, learn to match feelings with words in dealing with whatвs happening around them, and they are less liable to develop internalizing and externalizing behaviour problems. В They are more confident about exploring the world around them. They learn through their parentвs caring behaviours to have a sense of worth, and to empathize and cooperate with others. These social skills help them to form strong relationships with peers in the future. 2. Why is attachment important? A core part of early emotional development is attachment the initial emotional bond that forms between an infant and caregiver. According to many theories, this forms the basis of both the social and emotional development of the individual. Seminal work on attachment was carried out by Bowlby (e. g. 1973, 1980; see also Ainsworth, 1989, and Bretherton, 1985).


Bowlby described two major types of attachment pattern the secure, and the insecure. Insecure attachment is further divided into two types one defined by avoidance of the attachment figure (avoidant) and the other by anxiety and ambivalent feelings towards the attachment figure (anxious ambivalent). In drawing attention to attachment, Bowlby placed great emphasis on the emotional relationship between the child and the caregiver during the first two years of life. The basic idea was that a warm, continuous relationship with a caregiver leads to psychological health and well-being throughout life. The nature of the emotional bond of the initial social attachment has implications not only for future intimate relationships but also for potential psychopathology. Bowlby (e. g. 1980) argued that the child s relationship with the caregiver prompts the development of internal working models.


These give the child a schema of how accessible and responsive a caregiver is and how deserving of care the child is. These models will then affect future relationships. A secure working model will prompt expectations of good relationships and an open, positive manner. By contrast, an insecure working model may lead to expectations of poor, unsupportive relationships and a distrustful, hostile manner. Differences in style will also bring about obvious outcomes what we might call self-fulfilling prophecies. Thompson (1999) has reviewed the literature and concludes that the relationship between early attachment and later relationships (including love relationships) is not straightforward. Rather than becoming fixed at an early age and then unchanged, it is mediated by a continuing harmonious parent child relationship and depends on the nature of other short-term relationships too. Internal working models of how people relate might be established on the basis of the initial attachment, but can be changed by later social experiences and even by psychotherapy.


What do other people do when I express negative emotion? What happens when I explore? What can I accomplish? How do I maintain good relationships with others? A great deal of research on attachment in children and adults documents its importance from both developmental and clinical perspectives. Although early processes (such as attachment to the primary caregiver during infancy) are important, emotion goes on developing throughout the life-span. Some of the more fulfilling emotional experiences can occur later on in life. Extra credit received for relevant topics and issues discussed by the student which are not presented in chapter 6, e. g. other theories of attachment and its significance (or otherwise) that have been presented elsewhere in the literature.

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