According to Malekpour “[i]n general, attachment is the emotional bond that individuals form with their caregivers over the course of their infancy. [Furthermore;] [t]he quality and timing of attachment could determine the quality of later development” (2007:82). Primary caregivers are the principal builders of the emotional bonds that infants develop. Therefore secure emotional attachment with mother/father/caregiver is fundamental in the process of human development and influences later relationships; either positively or negatively. In order for an adult to form safe and secure relationships they must have experienced a secure foundation of emotional attachment from their primary caregiver(s) in their childhood. This feeling of security then expresses itself as a “secure base from which to explore self and the world” (Malekpour, 2007:91).
In the absence of ‘proper parenting’; children tend to display insecure attachments in both childhood and adulthood. This can in turn lead to ‘a lifetime difficulties’ (Shaffer, D. R., et al. 2013). Such difficulties include, but are not limited to; fewer intimate/close relationships, higher likelihood of illness, and the potential for antisocial behaviours. Finally, Inconsistency in emotion and rejection or carelessness from the primary caregiver, during childhood, can lead to maladjusted adults.
American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological
Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Malekpour, M. (2007). Effects of Attachment on Early and Later Childhood. The British Journal of Developmental Disabilities. 53(2):105, 81-95.
Shaffer, D.R., Kipp, K., Wood, E., & Willoughby, T. (2013). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence (4th Canadian ed.). Scarborough, ON: Nelson/Thomson.
Different models and theories used in family dynamic, and development, research provides insights into a person or a child’s current behaviors in relation to their development. They are important for parents, and family members alike, because they apply cross-culturally to the contemporary family; and allow developmental insights.