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Implications of Early Attachment for Later Relationship Quality

Research in developmental psychology suggests that there is a vivid and conspicuous relationship between early attachment and later relationships. The majority agree that attachment massively affects the quality of future relationships. Nonetheless, there are some, which protests that attachment is not unanimously predictive of later relationship quality. 

Practically, infant-caregiver attachment affects later adult-sibling relationships both positively and negatively.  For a case in point, in “Early Attachment and Later Developments: Familiar Questions New Answers,” Thompson (2015) finds out that mothers of securely attached children are also more sensitive and helpful toward their offspring in the follow-up assessments. Their behavior is also found to support the positive behavior of their children. In the words of one researcher, “secure dyads ‘work’ better” together (Slade, 1987, p. 83), suggesting that the consistency between attachment security and later parent-child interaction is dyadic.

However, sometimes early attachment does not influence future relationships in any way. In one of his studies, Lewis (1997) established that insecurely attached infants did not necessarily show the same attachment classification at the age of 18. According to them, various intervention factors may arise and modify the attachment classification of an infant. Among these interventions are parental divorces and increases or other transformations in the responsiveness of caregivers in childhood. Infants—the victims of a divorce—are more likely to protect their children in the future from the same fate. On the other hand, suffering from the effects of reduced responsiveness of the caregivers, the victim infants may protect their children from the same fate by giving them their full attention afterward. 

ReferencesLewis, M. (1997). Altering fate: Why the past does not predict the future. New York: Guilford Press.

Thompson, R., A., (2015). Early Attachment and Later Development: Familiar Questions, New Answers. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232522122_Early_Attachment_and_Later_Development_Familiar_Questions_New_Answers

 
 

RE: Week 4 Discussion 1 

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Hi Paula,In your post, you wrote: ” Practically, infant-caregiver attachment affects later adult-sibling relationships both positively and negatively.  For a case in point, in “Early Attachment and Later Developments: Familiar Questions New Answers,” Thompson (2015) finds out that mothers of securely attached children are also more sensitive and helpful toward their offspring in the follow-up assessments. Their behavior is also found to support the positive behavior of their children. In the words of one researcher, “secure dyads ‘work’ better” together (Slade, 1987, p. 83), suggesting that the consistency between attachment security and later parent-child interaction is dyadic. ”

I’m hoping you can expand upon your argument here. How does the Thompson article have implications for relationship quality in adulthood?

I’m not sure how the Slade piece ties in.

Can you go into more detail in your arguments?

I look forward to your response.

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