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Attachment and Identity in Childhood PDF

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Attachment and Identity in Childhood
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Attachment and Identity in Childhood
Attachment refers to the psychological connection that develops between a child and
the caregiver/parent (Donaldson, 1978). The bond is usually strong and plays a role in
shaping the kind of person that the child will be in future (Woodhead, 2015). Attachment will
influence the kind of learning that a child goes through. Attachment is necessary for the
survival of the child (Stanley, 2017). For instance, the attachment ensures provision of
security and food which are vital for survival. Identity refers to the concept of self that a child
has about themselves (Trawick and Smith, 2014). Children start developing identity as early
as three years. Identity is influences by factors such as peers and the cultural identity of the
family the child is born into.
Attachment in Childhood
Attachment in childhood may be defined as a special kind of affection that develops
between a child and the one providing care. It is not possible for a baby to survive by itself. It
is essential that they form this kind of relationships to ensure survival. The kind of attachment
between a child and the care giver goes beyond the simple affection/connection between two
people. It is a strong bond that could cause great distress in cases where the child is separated
from the care giver. This kind of attachment causes both the child and the care giver to ensure
that they are almost always close (proximity) to each other (Oates, 2015). These forms of
relationships are not only observed in human beings. It is also observed in a wide variety of
mammals. This shows that these kinds of relationships could have an evolutionary dimension.
One may be tempted to think that a child’s mind is passive and does not process
information. This is not the case however. Extensive research suggests that young children
have great abilities of learning from their environments (Schulz, 2018). This form of analysis
of data and arriving at conclusions starts as early as the age of 2 years. In science,
experiments are made using a sample that is representative of the population. The results are
then generalized to the whole population from which the sample was taken from. Children
also learn through a relatively similar manner. They can learn by associations in their
environments. The learning mainly involves sampling a few activities to determine what to
expect in future. Children have amazing learning capabilities. The learning that they go
through plays a great role in shaping both their current behaviours and those of the future
(Sluckin, 2017). The learning is usually from more learned and skilled individuals especially
the parents or the care givers since children spend most of their time with these categories of
individuals. In a nut shell, children have great learning capabilities. The learning is influenced
by the attachments that they have developed. The learning plays a numerous role in shaping
the behaviours of the children both at the current time and in future.
Why Children Form Attachments
John Bowlby was a psychologist. He was the first person to develop a theory of
attachment and is referred to as the father of attachment theory. Although modern studies
have found some aspects of the theory to be questionable, the theory is still popular and has
helped us understand the phenomenon of attachment in young children. Bowlby defined
attachment as psychological connectedness between human beings that lasts for a long time.
He suggested that the form of relationship (attachment) that a child develops is important in
shaping the relationships that they will form later in life. Attachments have the tendency of
lasting for a very long time. This section will look at the necessity of the attachments.
Early attachments with care givers help in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the
infant/child (Stern, 2017). The safety and protection offered by the parents/care givers is
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