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Psychobiology of Attachment

Attachment theory is based on the work of the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby (1907–1990), who theorized that the emotional connections infants formed with their early caregivers have significant impacts on their abilities to form future adult relationships. Bowlby described two primary patterns of attachment: (1) secure and (2) insecure. Caregivers of infants who develop secure attachments have consistently met their children’s needs and have shown them that it is safe and rewarding to form intimate relationships with others. These infants develop secure relationships with their caregivers and with others in their future adult relationships. In contrast, caregivers of infants who develop insecure patterns of attachment have either neglected or inconsistently met their children’s needs. These infants develop ambivalent, avoidant, or disorganized–disoriented relationships with their early ...

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