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What is Attachment?

Attachment Theory can give us a better understanding about why and how some children behave the way they do.

From an interview given by Sue Gerhardt, author of ‘Why Love Matters’

“Early care also establishes the way we deal with stress. Babies rely on their carers to soothe distress and restore equilibrium. With responsive parents, the stress response, a complex chain of biochemical reactions, remains an emergency response. However, being with caregivers who convey hostility or resentment at a baby’s needs, or who ignore their baby or leave him in a state of distress for longer than he can bear, will make a baby’s stress response over-sensitive.”…/24/childrensservices.politics

Read the following article to gain further knowledge of attachment theory and reflect on why you think it is an important consideration when approaching children’s mental health.

<undefined>Rees, Corine (2007) British Journal of General Practice</undefined>

Rees, Corine (2007) British Journal of General Practice

Rees argues that attachment is not considered enough and outlines why she thinks it’s so important and should be an essential part of antenatal teaching and postnatal support. Do you agree?


Have you noticed how Bowlby originally referred to the ‘mother’ in his research and theory development? Later works have widened the lens to consider the ‘primary caregiver’.

Bowlby’s work on attachment in the 1950s focused on the mother-infant relationship. Research and consider:

  • Why might this be problematic today?
  • What was the context in which Bowlby was developing his work? Why might this be important?
  • Did anyone oppose Bowlby’s ideas?
  • What do you think of Attachment Theory? Does it make sense to you?