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Evaluate the Significance of Attachment in the Emotional Development of an Infant

Essay by   •  May 20, 2012  •  Essay  •  397 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,909 Views

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Emotions, during the first two years of life have shown to provide infants with a biological purpose for survival, communications and lay the foundation for cognitive development (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010). Emotions allow infants to establish and maintain relationships with their caregivers through non-verbal communication. Emotions support regulation and promote a reciprocal relationship that allows the infant to building on survival skills, increase communication and deepen cognitive development.

According to both John Bowlby and Erik Erikson, the early establishment of a secure relationship, with caregiver, provided the framework for future secure relationship, self-confidence, and future goals for their lives (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010). Erikson believed that with a secure relationship, infant will feel needs are being met, which allows "basic trust" to emerges (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010). Having dependable, trustworthy relationships builds self-worth, self-confidence and increases the likely hood that health emotional relationships will develop as development continues. Bowlby's theory further support Erikson with the notion these initial connections between caregiver and infant create the "first attachment relationship" (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010). The quality of care and level of infant/caregiver attachment is a precursor to further emotional secure relationships. Bowlby believe in four phases of attachment, proximity maintenance, secure base, safe haven, and separation distress.

The relevance of attachment and emotions lies in its fundamental purpose to promote survival skills, increase communication, and positively impact cognitive development (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010). This makes it vital that parents and professionals provide an intensive intervention program when early signs of negative attachment exist. Dr. Stanley Greenspan, created a Developmental Individualize Relationship approach which supports treatment that focusing on changing the underlying causes of a negative attachment (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010). The treatment, known as floortime, is a child center approach to therapy. This approach is designed to

* "improve parents' observational skills, to assist them in"

* "sharing experiences and meanings with a child, to teach"

* "them to communicate in a respectful give-and-take with the child taking" (Broderick & Blewitt, 2010).

Without internal emotional signals that foster connection, which develops attachment, infants would be at a great disadvantage of functioning in society. As basic as these early parenting skills are, they are most important in establishing, maintaining, and improving the development of children.

Reference

Broderick,

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