Why Is Attachment Important In Early Life

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The importance of attachment in early life cannot be emphasized enough. Over the last century or so this has been recognized as one of, if not the most significant stage of development in a human being's life. With the aid of works from noted theorists such as Bowlby, Ainsworth, Harlow, and Main, this paper will focus on attachment and its many effects and influences from infancy to death and even carrying on through future generations.
Attachment theory originated from the research of psychoanalyst John Bowlby. Bowlby spent time working as a psychiatrist in London in the 1930s where he worked with orphaned children. This period of time encouraged Bowlby to evaluate the importance of the child's relationship with the mother. It helped form his belief about the connection between early infant separations with mothers and later issues with the child's social, emotional and cognitive skills and ultimately led Bowlby to construct his attachment theory (Bowlby, 2005).
Bowlby observed that children experienced sharp anguish when separated from their mothers. Being fed from other caregivers did not lessen the child's distress. These findings flew in the face of the behavioural theory of attachment which claimed that the child/mother attachment was due to the mother feeding the infant.
Bowlby's observations were given further credence through the
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This paper has focused on the effects of attachment at an early age, such as Harlow’s infant monkeys losing weight when deprived of the comfort of the terry cloth surrogate and insecure or disorganized attachments leading to poor academic and social performances. But many studies have shown that attachment has a far greater scope than childhood alone. Current research is unveiling strong links between disorganized attachment and conditions such as PTSD and ADHD. Conditions that strongly influence a person’s life in every
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