THE MEANING OF PARENTAL LOVE: ATTACHMENT - Tequesta

THE MEANING OF PARENTAL LOVE: ATTACHMENT

THE MEANING OF PARENTAL LOVE: ATTACHMENT

THE MEANING OF PARENTAL LOVE: ATTACHMENT

THE MEANING OF PARENTAL LOVE: ATTACHMENT There is a special bond between parents and children. Bowlby used the term attachment and described it as "an enduring psychological connection between human beings" and believed that the mother-child connection had a profound effect on a child's life (Bowlby, 1969). He believed that it influenced the quality of relationships, work performance and mental state as if it were an external womb that can provide protection in life from anxiety. The basis of this is an early childhood connection. Extending the parent-child relationship not only affects the communication between the child and parents, but also determines the child's ability to safely explore the environment. Ainsworth et al. (1978) examined attachment and exploration in infants and distinguished between safe, anxious / ambivalent, and avoidant attachment styles. Babies with secure attachment had mothers who were responsive and sensitive to their signals of various anxiety. Mothers of fearful / ambivalent attached babies showed inconsistencies in their behavior with sometimes reacting to distressing situations and not other times. On the other hand, attached avoidant infants were exposed to maternal rejection behavior, especially in close body contact. According to Bowlby (1973), representations of the attachment model are defined by the representation of self-worth. Children who receive comfort and care in need feel valuable and special, while children who are neglected or rejected begin to develop a sense of worthlessness. Studies have shown that safely attached children show greater emotional openness (Main, Kaplan & Cassidy, 1985) and higher self-esteem (Sroufe, 1983). Securely attached children see their parents as a safe base and feel confident enough to explore their environment and form new relationships. The attachment figure can deactivate a child's stress through voice, touch, or mere presence (Bowlby, 1982). In contrast, insecure children find it difficult to tolerate stress, such as the absence of the mother, even when she is within arm's reach, the child becomes restless and cranky (Ainsworth, 1967). Safely attached children who receive warm and intimate relationships with attached people understand that they are accepted with their mistakes and, as adults, feel confident enough to discover both their strengths and weaknesses (Cassidy, 1988). Adults with an anxious attachment style are in conflict, want closeness, but have trouble trusting the availability of a loved one in need. They fear that their needs will be ignored and that they will be abandoned by their partners. Due to fear of abandonment, they do not deal effectively with stress and tend to be more depressed compared to those with an avoidant attachment style (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007). According to a study by Hazan and Shaver (1990), anxious / ambivalent adults often fear rejection because of poor performance, and their fear of love often prevents them from doing their jobs. On the other hand, avoidant attachment style infants who did not receive their mother's attention in times of anxiety turn out to be highly avoidant adults. Due to mothers' lack of response, these adults expect those attached to them to be unavailable or unresponsive. Therefore, instead of asking for support, they keep distance in contacts with their relatives (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2003). They use work as an excuse to avoid social interaction, and even if they receive the same salary as securely attached people, they are less satisfied with their work (Hazan & Shaver, 1990). In conclusion, securely attached people generally have a better picture of well-being. Compared to insecure people, they have healthier relationships, suffer less from depression, anxiety, and less likely to report cold or flu (Hazan & Shaver, 1990). They tend to believe that loved ones are trustworthy and available when needed, are more satisfied with their relationships, and are better focused on their work rather than worrying about their performance or whether they are liked by others as opposed to insecurely attached adults. ■ If you want to read and learn more about the effects of early attachment, I recommend Bruce D. Perry's The Boy Who Raised a Dog. Ebru IPEK, clinical psychologist

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