Infant attachment is the first relationship a child experiences and is crucial to the child’s survival (BOOK). A mother’s response to her child will yield either a secure bond or insecurity with the infant. Parents who respond “more sensitively and responsively to the child’s distress” establish a secure bond faster than “parents of insecure children”. (Attachment and Emotion, page 475) The quality of the attachment has “profound implications for the child’s feelings of security and capacity to form trusting relationships” (Book). Simply stated, a positive early attachment will likely yield positive physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive development for the child. (BOOK)
Correlation of Infant Attachment to Development
After birth, babies immediately begin to establish a bond with his or her caregiver (BOOK). There are instances, such as childbirth complications or sickness; where infants are taken away from the mother immediately after birth. In sterile hospital settings, researchers have determined attachment activities, such as singing, “encourages the infant to strive towards maintaining homeostasis and internal equilibrium”. (A). By fostering attachment, the hospital “ultimately contributes to the infant’s psychological and physical development” (A). The child is able to receive warmth and empathy from the mother, ultimately increasing survival and stimulating physical development. (A)
As the child matures during the first two years of life, he or she creates a specific internal working model (BOOK). The working model of self is founded on the expectations the child develops based on experiences with the mother (BOOK). According to Bowlby (1979, p. 117), "the conce...
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...cal, emotional, and cognitive development for the child. The warmth and empathy shown to the child helps the child develop at a normative rate. While the attachment is important during infancy, it is also important to maintain the attachment throughout adolescence. Children who continue to share a secure attachment with the parent oftentimes have an easier time making friends and working through social issues (cite).
Secure attachment is not restricted to just American children. Around the world, parents create an attachment to their child. The values and behaviors of the parent/child dyad may differ; however, the ultimate goal of security is still prevalent. Regardless of location, children must maintain the continuity of care giving. If the child does experience a different response from his or her parent, the attachment will ultimately be jeopardized.
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