How Attachment Affect Children Development
Multiple studies have documented the physical, social, intellectual, and psychological effects that attachment has on child development. Children need consistent, secure emotional relationship with their primary caregiver so as to grow and develop feeling safe, protected and nurtured. The attachment theory stipulates that infants and young children require consistent relationship with particular people in order to thrive and develop. Attachment is described as a fundamental need with a biological basis where young infants or children need to maintain a sense of security with a particular person. It has the implicit goals of maintaining an infant’s feeling of security, regulating their affective states, promoting expressions of feelings, and enhancing communication. According to Simpson (1998), attachment relationships often develop within the first 6 months of life and are the avenues within which positive feelings, communication and play are expressed.
Secure attachment is associated with effective dependence which directly promotes effective independence. Research by Simpson (1998) reported that, compared to their counterparts, securely attached children were more capable of regulating their emotional distress. They were more easygoing, caring, empathetic and socially competent. Children who enjoy healthy forms of attachment are, therefore, capable of forming more positive relationships with their parents, teachers, siblings, and pears. Secure attachment enables children to develop less anxious personalities hence are healthily dependent and more capable of performing well in cognitively challenging situations.
Conversely, insecure attachment has been shown to negatively affect the child’s growth and development. It adversely affects their mental, behavioral, and emotional development. Insecurely attached children have limited abilities to explore their environments in healthy ways hence turn out to be apprehensive, disorganized, and anxious due to the rejecting, hostile or inconsistent attention to their needs. Additionally, insecure attachment has been associated with hostility towards other children, unhealthy dependency during school years, vulnerability to issues of peer pressure, and higher degrees of self-doubt.
Attachment indubitably affects children in terms of cognition, behavior, emotional responses, personality, and social skills. Failure to meet the baby or child’s attachment needs results into attachment difficulties which significantly affect children’s learning and development. Secure attachment broadly enhance development while insecurity directly compromises it leading to immature, passive, and socially isolated children who are not only hostile and aggressive, but also emotionally insulated.