Essay Sample. The Early Attachment and Development

Published: 2023-08-30
Essay Sample. The Early Attachment and Development
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Child development Disorder Emotional intelligence Behavior change
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 931 words
8 min read

In the initial stages of child growth, attachment illustrates the dependency relationship a newborn adopts towards his or her parents, who could be perceived to their primary caregivers (Shah, 2015). As such, newborns create attachments to individuals who express emotional and physical care to them frequently. Thus, through continuous interactions with primary caregivers, infants start to form belief systems about self, the world, and other individuals (Shah, 2015). Equally, in foreshadowing the process that infants take to become adults, spiritualists, philosophers, and other behavioral scientists sought to understand ways through which early influences and dispositions offer a basis for adult personality. The impact of initial interactions and close relationships was identified as the answer to the adult personality foundation. According to Thompson (2008), the infant-mother relationship remains central for the child's whole life as the strongest and first love object as well as the prototype for subsequent love relations. Bowlby relied on this psychoanalytic custom to enlist formulations starting on evolutionary biology, control systems, and development psychology theory to argue that a caregiver's continuous relationship boosts psychological health throughout life in a way aligned to the adaptive constraints of the human species. This understanding correlates to that of Ainsworth, who argues that security differences in the child-mother attachment contain vital long-term inferences for future self-understanding and intimate relationships (Thompson, 2008). In retrospect, both Bowlby and Ainsworth's contributions to early attachment and the way attachment familiarities impact the psychosocial growth of babies remain the central focus of this research.

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As a psychologist, Bowlby contented that the primary relationships and bonds established by infants with their primary guardians contain a tremendous effect that escalates as one grows to adulthood. The relationship or attachment developed also keeps the child close to the caregiver or mother, hence boosting the infant's survival chances (Ackerman, 2020). Equally, Bowlby highlighted the infants' behaviors to resist from being separated from caregivers or when they want physical reconnection to parents after being separated, including clinging, crying as well as screaming. Also, analysis of Bowlby's attachment theory indicates that children placed in unfamiliar areas and separated from their caregivers will react in either of the four ways after being reunited with their parents (Ackerman, 2020). The forms of their reaction include secure connection, anxious-avoidant attachment, anxious resistance affection, as well as a disorganized attachment.

Firstly, in a secure attachment, the infants get characterized by distress after being separated. However, later they find comfort and happiness when they get reunited with their caregivers. Secondly, on anxious-resistant attachment, a good number of children showed a significant level of distress upon being separated. On being reunited with the parents, they started seeking comfort besides trying to punish the caregivers for leaving. Next on avoidant attachment, the infants indicated minimal stress after being disconnected from their caregivers. When being brought back together with the parents, they either ignored them or avoided them altogether(Ackerman, 2020). Lastly, disorganized attachment involved infants who, in many ways, fail to demonstrate a coordinated approach in coping with distress due to separation as they show disruptive manners, aggression as well as social isolation (Ackerman, 2020). These type of children tends to partake their colleagues as threats other than their source of support. As such, they often switch between defensive aggression and social withdrawal behaviors.

On the other hand, Mary Ainsworth used the strange situation as a tool to elaborate a range of attachment forms that occur between babies and their parents or care providers at large. In the strange situation, the baby gets separated from the caregiver as he or she gets united to a stranger adult in a set protocol (Shah, 2015). Hence, the infants are described to be securely or insecurely attached, depending on their response to the strange situation.

Therefore, Ainsworth subdivides insecure attachment as avoidant, resistant, and disorganized. As such, Ainsworth argues that infants show some level of insecurity by avoiding their primary caregiver, especially when there is minimal interaction between the two. Hence, the infant does not indicate any distress signs when being separated from the caregiver. Equally, when the caregiver gets back during the strange situation, the avoidant child acts normal and sometimes might look away or turn their backs from the caregiver. On the contrary, resistant infants cling to their parents as they show resistance by pushing away from their parents. These types of babies cry and scream as their parents leave, and later they show resistance when the caregivers return and try to offer them some comfort. Lastly, in a strange situation, disorganized babies are generally disoriented as they often appear fearful, confused, and doubtful (Shah, 2015). Their patterns of resistance and avoidance are intense, and sometimes they look highly afraid in the presence of their caregiver.

In conclusion, insufficient security and bonding between the baby and the caregiver right from childhood lead to attachment disorder. In most instances, attachment-disordered babies result from neglectful or abusive care, sudden loss of a parent(s), and numerous alterations of environments and caregivers. Also, negative attachment occurs when there is inadequate access to adequate caring, including lack of essential parenting skills, the occurrence of domestic violence, substance abuse, and the existence of a hereditary mental disorder. Hence, such insecure attachment may develop constant problematic difficulties in ongoing relationships with caregivers and later making it difficult for the adolescent to establish successful bondages with peers.


Ackerman, C. (2020). What is Attachment Theory? Bowlby's 4 Stages Explained..

Shah, N. S. (2015). Effects of Attachment Disorder on Psychosocial Development. Inquiries Journal, 7(02), `1-3.

Thompson, R. A. (2008). Early attachment and later development: Familiar questions, new answers. The Guilford Press.

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