Mary Ainsworth studied infants separated from their parents. Here is what she noted was that:
- Firstly, a parent returning comforts most children.
- A small proportion of children are very distressed by separation and are hard to comfort and push back at the parent when the parent returns.
- When some parents return the child remains disinterested and doesn’t acknowledge the parent.
Roles of AttachmentThis can play out in various ways during adolescence and teenage years. For example, Insecure or anxious styles of attachment might identify more strongly with peers or romantic partners. Secondly, these children may be more clingy. Avoidant attachment may lead to a child feeling more self-reliant. They are more likely to take on adult roles.
Childhood attachment and adult RelationshipsTherapists have more recently started to make the link between childhood attachment and adult romantic relationships. There are similarities. In both states, people feel safe when the other person is nearby. Bodily contact, preoccupation with one another is seen both in parent-child and romantic relationships. Taking this a step further, firstly adults with anxious and resistant attachment styles worry that their partners don’t love them, and are easily frustrated when their needs go unmet. They may come across as needy. Secondly, those with avoidant style might not want closeness or want to be too dependent on others. They are likely to end relationships sooner.
It’s a World Health Organization (ICD-11) agreed upon condition that can only be diagnosed in children. Features need to appear before the age of 5 years old. The child shows a highly abnormal attachment style often following grossly lacking child care, for example, neglect or abuse.
Attachment in Relationships
Our attachment styles and the interplay with the attachment styles of those closest to us is complex. Therefore it likely plays a partner in our relationships. If you would like to learn more about your relationship attachment style, and how it impacts your personal relationships send us a message. Our friendly coordinators will take your details. Thereafter they will put you in touch with one of our therapists.
Learning about your attachment style involves deep reflection. Also, it takes time. Thirdly, it often involves frequent sessions, often at least once a week. For most people learning about their relationship attachment style brings up hard memories and images from when they were younger. We suggest you discuss this with your therapist before starting this type of therapy work. A longer-term commitment is needed from both the client and the therapist.