The Development of a Child´s Attachment to his Mother Essay

The Development of a Child´s Attachment to his Mother Essay

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This paper will explore the way in which an infant develops a loving relationship with his mother from birth through middle school. While the majority of this paper is based upon Bowlby’s Attachment Theory and the work upon which his research was based, it incorporates classical theories of physical development, social development, social learning and cognitive development. The biological, learning, social cultural, cognitive, and psychodynamic influences will be explored.
Biological influences
All animals undergo a process of bonding with its parent that serves as a protective mechanism to ensure the continuance of the species. Human infants bond as matter of instinct. The bonding process begins at birth with those initial bonds being strengthened through the nuturing and social learning processes.
Physiologically, bonding with a parent is both a genetic factor and a process of neurological programming that results in a parent-child attachment. Genetic factors influence the way in which a child reacts to stressors in the environment or otherwise experiences the world. These genetic factors are demonstrated through the personality and behavioral patterns of the individual. The child discussed in this study has a polymorphism of the DRD2 dopamine receptor that is also present in his mother. This characteristic is linked to the development of an anxious personality.
Other studies have focused on heart and respiration rates or the reactions of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal interactions. These studies have noted that there is a difference between children who have formed an attachment with a parent and those who have not when they are exposed to an unfamiliar situation. The child under consideration in this st...

... middle of paper ...

While secure attachments predict a child’s ability to perform well in school and move through other development phases as expected, early insecure attachments do not necessarily result in difficulties later in life. Relationships with peers, development of social skills, a healthy social identity, and the child’s intellectual development have an impact on the ability of an individual to develop solid relationships later in life.
The ability of this child to experience a strong bond or love relationship with his mother is based upon a combination of his physiological characteristics, mutual responses between he and his mother, and his life experiences within the family and other social venues. His early attachments will also have an impact on the way in which he is able to engage in loving and mutually caring relationships with others across the lifespan.

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