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.
Clearly, this demonstrates the importance of infants forming an enduring bond with a mother figure as a way to ensure optimal development an avoid specific behavioural disorders. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 29(3‐4), 211-247.
The mother-infant bond is established almost automatically after birth and considered the most important attachment the infant will form (Bowlby, 1950).
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. 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. It would appear that children’s early security of attachment is somewhat predictive of their later psychological, social and cognitive functioning. For example, Bowlby (1973) suggests secure attachments are essential because they provide working models of positive relationships and the effects of this relationship endures over time. (1985) proposes attachment types only predict later child development if their environment remains consistent. 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. 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.