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This essay will examine the importance of secure mother-infant attachments, the long lasting consequences of maternal deprivation and how this effects healthy development and briefly explore the implications of a primary mother-infant attachment on other attachment relationships. Ainsworth (1950) provided classification of two types of attachment after examining behavior styles of infants.
According to Bowlby (1953) the quality and consistency of the maternal-infant bond is essential for social, emotional and physical child development. The effects of child maltreatment on security of infant-adult attachment.
As a result of this theory, Ainsworth (1950) provided evidence to support Bowlby’s claims and through the Strange Situation examined the security of mother-infant relationships and classified behaviours into secure and insecure attachments.
One of Bowlby’s key claims of an exclusive primary attachment to a mother figure was challenged by Schaffer and Emerson (1964).
They found that monotropy was not a reality in many families and that the infants had formed an attachment to their fathers during their second year.
However, how do other infant attachment relationships relate to this observation?
Although attachment theory eventually presented both parents as attachment figures, the father is considered a play companion and a secondary attachment figure rather than a principal attachment figure (Bowlby, 1982; Geiger, 1996). Attachment, exploration, and separation: Illustrated by the behavior of one-year-olds in a strange situation. Retreived from Bowlby, J., Fry, M., & Ainsworth, M. In other words, sensitive parents will continue to be responsive towards their child with behaviours that less sensitive parents are unable to provide, as well as enduring a less responsive approach to parenting. 148864 2 A vast body of research is dedicated to understanding how early experiences have long lasting effects on the overall development of a child. 148864 1 ‘A secure mother-child attachment during infancy is essential for healthy development’ Discuss. Effects of a secure attachment relationship on right brain development, affect regulation, and infant mental health. The importance of early infant attachments cannot be denied. Shore (2001) suggested positive and negative experiences in early infancy can effect the maturation of the right hemisphere brain structure, and therefore, the psychological development of the infant. This paper examines the concept that the right hemisphere is a regulation control center which will be influenced by the mother-infant attachment formed. If they are upset while the caregiver is away they are easily comforted by a stranger. It is important to examine these attachment types and see what effect they have on parent-infant relationships. Mother–child attachment patterns and different types of anxiety symptoms: Is there specificity of relations? Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 41(6), 663-674. It was Bowlby (1953) who developed the evolutionary theory of attachment and suggested that infants have an innate tendency to form a strong bond with one primary attachment figure in order to ensure survival and act as a secure base. The role of the father in child development, 3(1), 1-18. Effects of attachment on early and later development. This relationship, more often than not is formed between the mother and the infant. The British Journal of Development Disabilities, 53(105), 81-95.