Attachments and Children with disabilities

Topics: Attachment theory, John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth Pages: 10 (2177 words) Published: March 10, 2015

Attachments and the Effects of Children with Disability

When reading the article and the definitions of Attachment based on Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth we can debate the fact that how we make attachments plays a key role in the future as adults. Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. He suggested attachment also serves to keep the infant close to the mother, thus improving the child's chances of survival. We can learn that Attachment theory is focused on the relationships and bonds between people, particularly long-term relationships including those between a parent and child. The central theme of attachment theory is that primary caregivers who are available and responsive to an infant's needs allow the child to develop a sense of security. The infant knows that the caregiver is dependable, which creates a secure base for the child to then explore the world. It is through his studies and clinical work that we can understand that early childhood experiences have an important influence on development and behavior later in life. Furthermore, he explains that our early attachment styles are established in childhood through the relationship we develop with infants or care givers. During research we understand that Ainswoth also contribute and confirmed the work of Bowlby, stating that through her studies it turned out that secure attachment was significantly correlated with maternal sensitivity and through another clinical study when mothers meshed their own playful behavior with that of their babies, infants responded with joyful bouncing, smiling, and vocalizing. However, when mothers initiated face-to-face interactions silently and with an unsmiling expression, ensuing interactions were muted and brief from the child. This evidence shows that attachment patterns established early in life can lead to a number of outcomes. She also revealed through her study “Strange Situation” the effects of attachment on behavior and their response to situation where they were left alone or with a stranger and the child’s reactions. This again proving that attachment patterns established early in life can lead to a number of outcomes. For example, children who are securely attached as infants tend to develop stronger self-esteem and better self-reliance as they grow older; and those children without these attachments can grow older to be fearful, insecure and low self-esteem. The goal of the attachment system is protection at times of danger, which is achieved by seeking proximity and contact with the primary caregiver to ensure safety and survival at times of fear, distress, anxiety and abandonment (Bowlby 1969). We can also understand that children’s temperament has been found to affect the manner in which the security or insecurity was expressed. For example, a study by Belsky & Rovine (1987) found that although caregiver factors determined whether an infant developed a secure or insecure attachment, the child’s temperament did appear to affect the manner in which the security or insecurity was expressed. There is a further suggestion that parental might be affected by the child’s initial reactivity, temperamental difficultness, ability to self-regulate. In this analysis, children who are irritable, sensitive and easily aroused might place higher demands and increased levels of stress on their parents. For example, studies by Susman Stillman et al. (1996) and van den Boom (1994) found that irritable infants in disadvantaged environments were more likely to be classified insecurely attached (Child and Family Social Work 2006, 11, pp 95–106). Vaughn & Bost(1999) observe that It may be that when a parent’s economic, social, and/or psychological resources are strained, an irritable or otherwise difficult infant elicits less than optimal caregiving, which in turn potentiates the assembly of an...

References: Bowlby, J. (1969) Attachment and Loss, Volume 1: Attachment . Hogarth Press, London.
Clements, M. & Barnett, D. (2002) Parenting and attachment among toddlers with congenital anomalies. Infant Mental Health Journal , 23, 625–642.
Lyons-Ruth, K., Bronfman, E. & Atwood, G. (1999) A relational diathesis model of hostile-helpless states of mind: expressions in mother–infant interaction. In: Attachment Disorganization (eds J. Solomon & C. George), pp. 33–70. Guilford Press, New Y ork.
Kempt, G., Smith, M., & Segal, J. (2012 October). Learning Disabilities in Children Types of Learning Disorders and Their Signs. http://
Susman-Stillman, A., Kalkoske, M., Egeland, B
Learning Disabilities Association of America Articles (2012 September, 22).
LDA Position Statement ht://
University of Washington (2012 April, 12). Academic Accommodations for Students
With Learning Disabilities, Achieving Equal Access through Accommodations and Universal Design
Vaughn, B.E.& Bost, K.K. (1999) Attachment and temperament: redundant, independent, or interacting influences on interpersonal adaptation and personality development?. In: Handbook of Attachment (eds J. Cassidy & P. Shaver), pp. 198–
Attachment Disorganization J. Salomon, C. George, 1999
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