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.
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.
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.
This was supported by Bowlby’s (1944) own study, 16/44 thieves had been diagnosed with affectionless psychopathy (a behvaioural disorder where individuals have a lack of self conscience, guilt and shame) and 86% of these individuals had experienced prolonged separation from their mother in early years. The international journal of psycho-analysis, 25, 19.
Compared to the remaining thieves, where 17% had experienced separation from their mother in early infancy and less than 4% of children in the non-thief category had experience separation. Bowlby, J., Ainsworth, M., Boston, M., & Rosenbluth, D. The effects of mother‐child separation: a follow‐up study.
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.