Attachment theory was developed by the English psychiatrist John Bowlby. Before the occurrence of Bowlby’s research, psychologists believed that a child maintains the relationship with the mother only to satisfy physical needs. Bowlby added a social component to the mother-child relationships. The researcher supposed that a child’s attachment to the mother helps to adapt to the surrounding world. He highlighted the significance of the adult in the process of socialization and self-identification. Therefore, the child should be morally attached to the adult in order to be able to discover the world and society. Being deprived of such attachment can negatively impact the child’s psychological state.
Based on the attachment theory, the lack of parental attention or the absence of parents can be harmful to children. For example, the psychological state of the Romanian orphans was noted as deprived and slowed (Behen et al. 1295). In 1966 Nicolae Ceausescu signed the act according to which abortions and contraception were forbidden (Behen et al. 1296). As a result of this act and the lamentable economic state of the country, many orphans were close to death (Behen et al. 1294). However, this problem had more severe psychological consequences for these children. Having no attachment to their mothers, children were noted to have different psychological disorders during their adult years (Behen et al. 1294). Moreover, practical research showed that their brain functions were damaged (Behen et al. 1294). Such problems were likely caused by the lack of parental interaction described in the attachment theory. Romanian children were completely deprived of their mothers’ and fathers’ support and attention (Behen et al. 1296). As a result, the socialization process was damaged, causing dangerous brain disruptions and psychological problems. Therefore, attachment to an adult is essential in the process of the child’s psychological development.
Behen, Michael. “Local Brain Functional Activity Following Early Deprivation: A Study of Postinstitutionalized Romanian Orphans.” NeuroImage, vol. 14, no. 6, 2001, pp. 1290-1301.