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Infant-Mother Attachment and Eating Disorder Behavior Essay

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Mary S. Ainsworth was fascinated in the association between infants and their mothers that she later coined the theory of infant-mother attachment. According to Ainsworth, there are three evident attachment patterns that will develop, secure, anxious and avoidant infants. Ainsworth felt it was substantially necessary for a child to transition out from a mother’s attachment and vulnerability to autonomy and independence as a factor in normal development in personality. One of the key points of Ainsworth security theory is that infants need to “develop a sense of direction and secure dependence on parents” before leaving the nest into a strange and unfamiliar situation (Bretherton, 1992). According to Ainsworth, “Familial security in the early stages is of a dependent type and forms a basis from which the individual can work gradually, forming new skills and interest in other fields.” “Where Familial security is lacking, the individual is handicapped by the lack of what might be a secure base” (Bretherton, p. 4, 1992).

Attachment theory and styles
“Attachment theory offers an additional developmental model that emphasizes the importance of caregivers’ responsiveness for the emotional adjustment of children” (Cheng & Mallinckrodt, p. 366, 2009).


Infant-Mother Attachment
To gain a better insight of attachment theory Mary S. Ainsworth developed a concept unfolding the underlying behaviors infants experience towards their mothers. Without a mother infant bond, insecure attachment can develop causing psychological and emotional stress. However, a maternal bond is needed for a healthy development in an infant, without the necessary mother infant bond negative behaviors can arise leading to difficulties in relationships, ne...


... middle of paper ...


...ning parental bonds and altering attachment difficulties (Johnson, Maddeaux & Blouin, 1998).
Mary S. Ainsworth theory of attachment and the relationship involving eating disorder behavior and how insure or avoidant attachment causes individuals to engage in eating disorder behaviors. Individuals suffer psychological and emotional effects when dealing with the structure of family dynamics, family origin, and childhood memories are exposed. Eating disorders are extremely difficult to overcome and have the highest mortality rate than any other psychiatric issue. However, family therapy is the most effect treatment, but it sustains alarming risks because the individual must address the underlying issues that resulted in the eating disorder in the first placed, which can be psychologically and physically painful for some causing suicide (Ringer & Crittenden, 2007).



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