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Discuss the Importance of Early Attachments for The Lifelong Formation Of Relationships.

It is fascinating to see how humans learn to connect and communicate with each other. Without this ability, we cannot function effectively in society.

This module is crucial in that it focuses on the development and use of cognitive abilities to facilitate social interaction.

This essay requires you to consider how attachments develop as children and how they impact on later life relationships. It will also help you to understand how social interaction is possible in today’s world.

The essay will focus on how attachment is formed and how it might affect the quality of attachment as well as the types of people that we attach to.


Many psychologists believe that early attachments can have an effect on the relationships that an individual has in later life.

Baby’s most basic needs will be met if they have an emotional relationship with their caregiver.

This becomes the engine for their cognitive, social and emotional development (Lamb 2013).

Attachment is a strong, enduring emotional relationship that binds people.

The importance of early attachments to the long-term formation of relationships will be the focus of this essay.

According to the continuity hypothesis, there is uniformity between early emotional attachments as well as relationships formed later in life. This also observes that an individual’s attachment style in childhood will be reflected in their later relationships. (Holmes (2014)

Bowlby’s theory of monotropic has an internal working model which supports this idea.

Bowlby says attachment is monotropic. This means that infants can form an attachment to a specific person because they are born with this tendency.

This means that the attachment they form with a particular person is stronger than all others and acts as a model for future relationships.

According to Ludolph (2012), the infant who relies on this model will have similar relationships with other children in the future.

The idea of an internal working model is a framework that will guide the subsequent relationships. It builds on infant’s early attachments, and it also affects the future relationships throughout their lives.

There are many attachment theories that children can develop in their infant years. Ainsworth split these into secure and insecure avoidant while he was doing his research on’strange circumstances’.

Johnson’s book from 2014 revealed that Ainsworth had based his researches on the predictions of Bowlby and Shaver and created an experiment called the ‘love test’ to explore the possibility that there is a consistency among the early childhood attachments and the later-life romantic relationships.

It was found that people who had a secure childhood attachment were more likely to have long-lasting relationships. However, those with insecure attachments were more likely to experience difficulties in adult relationships.

This study supports the idea that early attachments play an important role in the development and maintenance of healthy relationships later on in life.

But if Ainsworth’s attachment research is considered, then it is likely that his findings are similar to the association between adults’ attachment style and their recall of the parenting styles they received as infants.

Ainsworth’s research has shown that infants’ attachment styles are closely related to their caregivers, particularly their mothers (Bowlby-Ainsworth (2013)).

It will be based on the oedipal stages of childhood development that determines how an individual approaches later in life.

They will have a definite adult psyche that is influenced by the needs they did not meet in childhood.

Each person must go through a developmental stage in their life. This helps them to understand their childhood and to be able to relate it to their adult relationships (Martin, Carlson & Buskist 2010, 2010).

A social engagement system is essential for every individual to be able establish attachments as well as affiliative relationships.

The social engagement system is built based on the early experiences an individual has with caregivers. This provides the context in which an adult will be able to regulate the arousal of stimuli and react accordingly.

The caregiver’s early relationships will impact how you deal with your relationships later on in your life.

It will also show that there is a decreased ability to measure arousal stimulus from the interior and exterior. This will help in building healthy relationships as a well as the ability cope with stress (Comer Gould & Furnham (2013)).

Furthermore, children will learn from this social engagement system how to experience safety as well as maintaining a return to arousal.

This will help you to build the foundations for your relationships.

Kochanska & Sanghag found that early attachments had a positive impact on a person’s behavior and later relationships.

Further, the study found that children’s relationships with their parents are examined in different situations for 15 months with each parent.

It is believed that children who are ‘double secured’, which refers to being equally attached to both their parents, have more problems than those who are only having secure attachment to one parent (Karreman&Vingerhoets 2012).

It can be concluded from the essay that early attachment plays a significant role in the long-term formation of relationships.

Ainsworth has identified three types of attachment based on his research. These are secure, insecure, and insecure.

Ainsworth’s concepts of consistency hypothesis, as well as internal work models, seem to have a significant impact on the attachments one creates in the early years.

Children who are secure are more likely than insecurely attached to have long-lasting, successful relationships.

Refer to

Attachment theory: The origins.

Attachment Theory: Social Developmental, Clinical, and Clinical Perspectives. 45

Psychology, UK: Wiley and Sons

The search for the secure foundation: Attachment theory, psychotherapy.

Attachment: The key of love.

Psychotherapy in Australia 20(2), 54.

Attachment and well-being. The mediating role emotion regulation and resilience plays in attachment.

Personality and Individual differences 53(7), 821-826.

The early attachment organization with both parents.

Child development, 84(1). 283-296.

Attachment of infants to mothers: The development and origins of Individual Differences in Strange Situation Behavior.

The special issue about attachment: Exaggerated theory and data.

Family Court Review 50(3), 486-495.

Pearson Education

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