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Earned Attachment

According to John Bowlby’s attachment theory, human beings are compelled to form connections with caregivers for physical, emotional, relational, and developmental support. It is not enough just to have an infant’s basic physical needs met; infants also need to feel emotionally secure and bonded to a caregiver. When caregivers are not responsive to the needs of a child (both physically and emotionally), the child develops an insecure, rather than secure, attachment to the caregiver. Having an insecure attachment is associated with less healthy relationships as an adult. Earned secure attachment describes people who had insecure attachments with their parents but have found ways to overcome the insecure attachment and are assessed as securely attached later in life. Therefore, the early negative life experiences do not ...

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