• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Influence Of Parent-Infant Attachment On Optimal Development

Extracts from this document...


This essay will discuss the influence of parent-infant attachment on the optimal development of a child and particularly how poor parenting techniques can affect and influence a child's growth to optimal development. This paper will specifically focus on journal articles research into psychosocial and emotional stages of children and will correlate poor parent-infant attachment to lack of achievement of milestones of development in children across subsequent developmental ages. This paper will also address strategies for parents to ensure good parent-infant attachment is achievable for all caregivers. The subject of parent-infant attachment has been well studied since the original theory was first put forward by John Bowlby in 1951 (Bowlby, cited in Owusu-Bempah and Howitt, 1997) and there has been much research and study into parent-infant attachment during the subsequent years. Theiss and Travers (2006) point out that the development of attachment relationships in children and human beings appears to be innately programmed and this programming is called attachment theory. Owusu-Bempah and Howitt (1997) discuss attachment theory and explore this concept through discussion suggesting that children who fail to have positive and intimate relationships in early childhood may exhibit behaviours leading them to emotional struggles and difficulties in achieving optimal development. Optimal development is achieved by successful completion of all milestones across the ages of childhood through to adulthood. Theis and Travers (2006) assert that attachment behaviours are instinctual and children seek contact from birth with their caretaker and Berk (1997) points out that attachment behaviours are reassuring and are exhibited throughout life, giving one example of an adult phoning a significant other at a moment of difficulty, isolation or stress to assist to restabilise their view of self and the world. ...read more.


completed a study based on a key variable identified as reciprocal responsiveness. The key finding of this study was that secure attachment behaviours in infants was found to be noticeably more when parents interactions were sensitive, accepting, cooperative and accessible. Meins et.al (2001) gathered observations of infant attachment based on infant vocalisations, infant gaze and change in direction. These authors achieved their aim of testing if more sensitive mothers are more likely too establish secure attachment relationships in their children. They also found that parents with predictive abilities to pre-empt their childs needs were more likely to have securely attached children. This research moves to address the reasons why sensitive responsiveness of parents assists in the development of self and relationship through out childhood development. Owusu-Bempah and Howitt (1997) explore socio-genealogical connectedness and the attachment theory. Socio-genealogical connectedness is the extent to which a child identifies with biological parents. These authors put forward the notion that humans have a psychological urge to be connected to their biological roots and that inadequate knowledge destabilises children's emotional security and self-concept, leading to identity crisis in adolescence as defined by Erikson's stage of Identity verses Indentity confusion. Children in adolescence are trying to find out who they are and put importance on their role in the world while their self esteem is developing. Owusu-Bempah and Howitt (1997) acknowledge that a child's sense of continuity can be built by the whole community and that the felling of self-knowledge is partly culturally determined. ...read more.


(Green & Goldwyn, 1999, p.840) Green and Goldwyn (1999) suggest techniques of parent management aiming to improve sensitivity to the child and consistency of parenting skills as beneficial to the child by means of instilling self confidence and self esteem in the parent belief patterns of self. Howe (2006, Iss. 2) confirms this belief by suggesting co-ordinated services, reliable social support and good family harmony are instrumental in ensuring parents are able to instil good parent-infant attachment and subsequent assist their child to optimal development. In summary, good parent-infant attachment has been shown to be instrumental in the development of psycho-social and emotional skills, and is an important milestone of achieving optimal development across the ages for growing children. Poor parent-infant attachment has been linked by many researchers to poor caregiving skills of the carer. It is directly through parents or caregivers interactions that a child learns to trust its environment. Sensitivity and provision for the needs of the child by the parent builds trust in the child and this is shown through behaviours of appropriate interactions with the environment and the childs main caregiver. A child with well formed parent-infant attachment behaviours continues to successfully develop and achieve milestones of growth across all developmental area. A child of a parent who is unable to meet the needs of their infant or provide synchronicity of meeting needs in an appropriate time frame, will have difficulty trusting the environment and may develop social and emotional deficits through childhood, adolescence and adult life. By providing parental support in many and varied ways, the health system can assist caregivers in their role of successfully assisting a child to optimal development. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. counselling stages of attachement

    He believed any behaviour that was not reinforced would stop, and that if behaviour was reinforced it would occur. Milk tablets - acted as a reinforcement to press the lever Learning theory sees attachment as a learned process rather than innate.

  2. Task1 Counselling 1aPhysical signs and symptoms of stress

    Therefore the triplets should be rewarded for doing the good things that they do instead of the wrong thing. By Dawn Bewick P19 Task 3 Psychodynamic Spitz (1965/1975) considered that the newborn does not feel separated from the environment. In the first half of the first year the infant does not have other memories besides memories of some signals.

  1. Communication skills in a group interaction.

    This was quite hard for me to down with the added pressure of someone assessing me to. However I feel that I generally managed to relax, and improve they way I spoke to them because the atmosphere became a lot less tense and more friendly and relaxed.

  2. Investigate the stages that infants go through when developing attachments.

    for the later social and psychological development of the infant * If this attachment with the mother is not formed the individual will be unable to form a permanent attachment to anyone, due to a lack of an 'internal working model' * There is a critical period between 7 months and 3 years when the attachment bond must be formed.

  1. Attachment and Separation.

    A second barrier to fully expressing feelings of loss when a child leaves the foster home is the number of other demands placed on foster parents. Usually, there are other foster and biological children still in the home. Foster parents must continue to attend to these children, leaving little opportunity to express themselves.

  2. Is Popular culture an Influence on Violent Behaviour?

    They found that children whose facial expressions depicted the positive emotions of happiness, pleasure, interest or involvement, while viewing televised violence were more likely to harm another child than those children who depicted disinterest or displeasure. Ergo, this shows a link between popular culture and violent behaviour in certain circumstances with certain individuals.

  1. How does watching television influence the behaviours and cognitions of young children?

    By reviewing the evaluation of this study, one can see how difficult it is to restrict children from viewing certain products on television, as children are often not only subjected to watch 'child friendly' channels, such as CBBC or CITV.

  2. Psychology - The Self Concept

    These reactions can create either a positive or negative reflection that will influence the way we feel about ourselves and even some of the choices we make in life. An extremely important part of the self-concept is self esteem. "This is the evaluative aspect of the self-concept, and it concerns

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work