The concept of attachment was proposed by more than

Info icon This preview shows pages 3–4. Sign up to view the full content.

WHAT IS ATTACHMENT? The concept of attachment was proposed by Bowlby (39-41) more than three decades ago to describe the fundamental bond between parent and infant that is essential to survival and development. Attachment is based on ethology, and Bowlby conceptualized attachment as a biologically based repertoire of organized behaviors (eg, infants’ crying, smiling, clinging and proximity seeking) that foster infant-parent interactions and maximize survival. Under conditions of stress such as illness, unfamiliar environments and being left alone, infants direct certain behaviors toward their caregivers to gain protection and safety. In the absence of stress, proximity-seeking behaviors are reduced and the attachment system enables children to engage in other adaptive behaviors that promote exploration and mastery of the environment (42). The attachment system, therefore, allows children to relate to their parents both as a ‘secure base’ (43) from which to explore, and as a ‘safe haven’ for obtaining support and protection in times of perceived threat. Parents differ in the nature and quality of care that they provide to their children and, over time, children’s attachment experiences are consolidated into ‘internal working models’ of relationships (40). Parental attunement and appropriate responsiveness give rise to secure attachment, marked by a view of the self as worthy of care and competent in mastering the environment, and a view of others as reliable and effective. Securely attached children readily seek out their caregivers when distressed, but feel sufficiently safe to explore their environment at times of low stress. In contrast, parental unavailability and harsh rejection is associated with insecure anxious-avoidant attachment. These children view themselves as unlovable and unable to attract care from their parents, and they view others as punitive and disinterested in them. Anxious-avoidant children are reluctant to approach their parents even when distressed, because they fear their overtures for comfort will be rejected or punished. Parental inconsistency is associated with anxious-ambivalent attachment. These children view themselves as unable to sustain the interest and care of others. However, they view others as able to provide support if their attention can be secured and sustained. Anxious-ambivalent children are vigilant about the whereabouts and responsiveness of their parents and display heightened overtures of need to provoke parental responsiveness. Their preoccupation with the availability of their parents inhibits appropriate exploration of their environment. Evidence of the impact of parental attachment on early to middle childhood development is indisputable and immense. Attachment has been shown to influence almost every aspect of early childhood development, from neurocognitive development to social-behavioral competence (42,44). Importantly, research demonstrates that the quality of attachment varies according to the
Image of page 3

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.
  • Fall '15
  • Dr. Valeria Rus
  • Dr Marlene M Moretti

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern