Thinking about attachment

What is attachment?

pexels-photo-532389.jpegAttachment is the interaction or bond that forms between carer and infant. The type or style of attachment may differ from one person to another. Attachment forms a blueprint for future relationships that informs emotional and cognitive development. Childhood trauma or neglect can lead to the development of insecure attachments.

Attachment styles

  • Secure attachment: results from typical development and what is described as ‘good enough’ parenting
  • Insecure attachment:

# Anxious avoidant – may develop if parents are emotionally unavailable for the infant/child. An insensitivity to the needs of the infant resulting in rejection, separation, or unresolved loss.

# Anxious ambivalent – infants needs are met,but this is on the adult’s terms, not the child’s. For example, dinner is served but when the adult is hungry, not the child.

# Disorganised attachment – all behaviour is an extreme with no pattern. A secure base is not available for whatever reason so attachment behaviour failed to achieve its goal. As a result, the child does not develop patterns of how the world (including people, themselves, emotions) work – who or what is ‘safe’.


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