Defining Attachment and Imprinting Within Child Psychology

Defining Attachment and Imprinting within Child Psychology

• Attachment
• Imprinting


Psychologists disagree about many things, but they generally agrees that humans are social creatures and that how they relate to one another has a great deal to do with their ultimate happiness and sense of well-being. Likewise, they agree that the emotional bonds that form between infants and their caregivers establishes the foundation for how a child will get along with other children. Connections with peers ultimately help determine how easily later intimate relationships become established.
These emotional bonds are generally described as infants’ or children’s attachment style, the way they relate to their caregivers. Various theories have been proposed to explain why and how attachment styles evolve but a combination of genes, learning, modelling and parenting styles no doubt contribute to the process.
Those styles begin to appear in the first year of life. In a general sense, during the first couple of months of life, infants respond to all people in almost the same manner. From 2 to 7 months, they show signs of recognising people they have seen frequently.   Finally, from 7 months to 1 year and beyond they begin demonstrating protest on separation from caregivers, fear of strangers and some signs of intentional communication.
More specific attachment styles appear by the time children reach 12 to 24 months of age. Researchers conducted a large series of studies in which infants engaged in various interactions with their mothers as well as strangers.
On the basis of predominately their reunion behaviours (although other behaviours are taken into account) infants can be categorized into three 'organized' attachment categories: Secure, Avoidant, Ambivalent and a fourth category, termed Disorganized.
Based on these studies, the researchers determined that children can usually be classified in one of the following attachment styles:
• Secure...