Essay On Attachment In Early Life

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Attachment in early life is a fundamental aspect of child development and the establishment of intimate and reciprocal relationships with caregivers. Shaffer & Kipp (2007) define attachment as ‘a close emotional relationship between two persons, characterized by mutual affection and a desire to maintain proximity’. Contrary to the original view of infant attachment as a ‘secondary drive’ of the dependency on caregivers for physiological needs, such as hunger; Bowlby (1969, 1973) proposed that all infants are born with an innate bias to form an attachment to a primary attachment figure to whom they can seek comfort, or a ‘secure base’ during stressful circumstances. It is proposed by Ainsworth (1967) that parental sensitivity is crucial to shaping the security and development of the initial infant-parent attachment relationship, however the phenomenon of attachment requires both infants and caregivers to contribute in the formation of the attachment bond. Ultimately, the quality of attachment in early life shapes both the social and emotional…show more content…
Through factors such as cognitive development of the infant, attentive care and intimate interactions with a primary caregiver, the attachment relationship is created – shaping the infants- caregiver bond. By examining the interactions between an infant and their primary caregiver, we can identify secure, insecure and disorganized attachment (Ainsworth, 1978; Cassidy 1994); which can reveal a great deal about the relationship between the infant and attachment figure. Overall, the quality of attachment bonds formed in the early years can have long lasting effects on an infant’s emotional security and social competence; not only shaping their ability to form relationships, but laying the foundations for the social, emotional and mental development of the
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