A child’s attachment to both parents has been identified as critical in the proper advancement to different stages of the human lifespan development. Indeed, one can connect infant attachment to other stages of growth, highlighting both positive and negative implications. A child who has a strong attachment, is assumed, to also have better attachments in the later stages of life. The vice versa applies for a child who does not have a strong connection with his or her parent/s.
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The essay will examine the effects of secure and insecure attachment. Overall, it will be argued that a child with secure attachment, also referred to as strong attachment in the paper, is more aware, and easily interacts, with other people and his or her environment as compared to a child with insecure attachment.
Relationship between Attachment and Cognitive Growth
A study by Lindsey and Caldera (2015) showed that the degree of attachment that a child has to their parent affects their cognitive growth and ability to develop and maintain relationships in adolescence and adulthood. In the experiment, children were put in a room, and their parents asked to leave. Findings showed that children who had a sturdy attachment to their parents were very calm and felt secure despite the new environment.
Secure attachment also allows a child to trust easily in later stages of the human lifespan development (Moutsiana et al., 2015). With such attitudes developed early in the child’s life, he or she will be able to grow and be in a position to handle stressful situations well as an adult (Colonnesi, van Polanen, Tavecchio & Fukkink, 2017). If, for example, a child with secure attachment goes to the supermarket with their parent, he or she is less likely to throw tantrums in an attempt to get what he or she wants. This is because the child is aware that his or her parent has his or her interest at heart.
Insecure attachment, on the other hand, comes about when the child is unable to empathize with his or her caregivers (Yee & Shiota, 2015).When the child grows up, thus, he or she will also fail to empathize with colleagues and peers. The most prominent concern, towards this end, is that such a child will not be able to handle stressful situations well in adulthood. Ebbeck, Phoon, Tan-Chong, Tan, and Goh (2015) note that this effect puts such a child in a situation where he/she is less likely to be hurt emotionally. In turn, the emotional instability affects the child’s identification of self during his or her adolescent years.
Research has shown that social thinking has been influenced by the two types of attachment greatly. The secure attachment has features such as sensitivity and deep affection. Such a child is expected to develop healthy human relationships, unlike the ones who have weak attachments with their parents (Moutsiana et al., 2015).Unhealthy human relationships are a negative effect of such kind of attachment.
Relationship between Attachment and Positive Stimuli
According to this study, many juveniles with records have been identified to have insecurity issues related to infant attachment issues (Yee & Shiota, 2015). Additionally, the study evaluates how the quality of attachment affects the child. According to Lindsey and Caldera (2015), in the early stages of infancy, the child leans on the parent for emotional support and security. The child will have better emotional and mental stability if the quality of attachment developed is strong. If the quality is weak, then the child will have to compensate for the parents’ absence, and this creates emotional issues in later years.
Beijersbergen, Juffer, Bakermans-Kranenburg and van Ijzendoorn (2012) note that quality of attachment is judged by the reaction of the child around their parents. Also, Lindsey and Caldera (2015) indicate that a child with secure attachment to the parent is noticeably happy every time their parents were around. The stated was not the case with the other children. The quality attachment has to be visible from a child’s behaviour and how they respond to their environment.
In terms of psychological development, secure attachment helps a child have a very strong emotional state of mind. This mentality helps them be in a position to handle stressful situations very well. On the other hand insecure attachment makes a child have emotional issues as they develop. They are more likely to be depressed since they do not have a strong emotional system. In most relationships, it will be common to find that a child that had insecure attachment will have very many trust issues.
In conclusion, insecure attachment affects infant development in that a child does not have ample time to learn and adapt to their environment. They are preoccupied with emotions of fear and insecurity, thus, making it difficult for them to enjoy their childhood as would be expected. The poor quality attachment will have adverse effects that will be felt years later. It is also crucial to point out the fact that socialization starts from birth. Thus, the way the child will be socialized will affect his or her growth and personality later on.
Beijersbergen, D., Juffer, F., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., & van Ijzendoorn, M. H. (2012). Remaining or becoming secure: Parental sensitive support predicts attachment continuity from infancy to adolescence in a longitudinal adoption study. Developmental Psychology, 48(5), 1277-1282.
Colonnesi, C., Van Polanen, M., Tavecchio, L. W., & Fukkink, R. G. (2017). Mind-mindedness of male and female caregivers in childcare and the relation to sensitivity and attachment: An exploratory study. Infant Behavior & Development, 48, 134-146.
Ebbeck, M., Phoon, D., Tan-Chong, E., Tan, M., & Goh, M. (2015). A research study on secure attachment using the primary caregiving approach. Early Childhood Education Journal, 43(3), 233-240.
Lindsey, E. W., & Caldera, Y. M. (2015). Shared affect and dyadic synchrony among secure and insecure parent-toddler dyads. Infant & Child Development, 24(4), 394-413.
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Moutsiana, C., Johnstone, T., Murray, L., Fearon, P., Cooper, P. J., Pliatsikas, C., … Halligan, S. L. (2015). Insecure attachment during infancy predicts greater amygdala volumes in early adulthood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(5), 540-548.
Yee, C., & Shiota, M. N. (2015). An insecure base: Attachment style and orienting response to positive stimuli. Psychophysiology, 52(7), 905-909.