The Biological Basis of Parent-infant Attachment

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Introduction
Attachment, as has previously been
defined (Bretherton, 1992) refers to a special human need to form close affectional
ties, which bond parents and infants in
a way that the parent not only functions
as a caregiver, but also as a secure base
that the child can use as a safe way to
explore the world around him, and as he
or she grows older, the inner world as
well. Although it has always been said
that the ultimate function of attachment is
the protection of the infant or child from
any potential danger, research shows
that the objective of the attachment relationship goes way beyond, showing its
potential to explain the child’s posterior
functioning: the development of schemas or perceptions about the world, the
child’s emotional well-being (Volling, McEIwain, Notaro, & Herrera, 2002; Waters
et al., 2010) psychological health (Anglin,
Cohen, & Chen, 2008; Brumariu & Kerns,
2008) and the determination of the quality
of posterior relationships with others (Levy
& Kelly, 2010) including the way he or she
will act as a parent in the future (Van Ijzendoorn, 1995; Grienenberger, Kelly, &
Slade, 2005).

 

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