The relationship between children and parents has always been one of the major concerns of developmental psychology. This aspect of interaction is considered to be the most crucial in terms of the child’s future and general psychological state. Hence, when speaking of the “parent-child” paradigm, the notion of attachment should be considered the most serious one in the whole context. Scholars identify attachment as a behavioral pattern characterized by a formation of a strong long-term emotional bond between parents and children. Such a bond makes the child feel that any other form of interaction cannot interchange their connection to the carer.
The attachment theory as a phenomenon presupposes that a child feels a strong need for emotional connection to the presence of a parent and thus, feels either joy or grief when reuniting or losing a parent, respectively. The theory’s definition does not also identify the extent to which a child may feel the bond, as this aspect is highly dependent on the family setting and cultural environment. Another distinct feature of the concept is that such an attachment is not created for interdependence or manipulation, as the child is primarily looking for comfort or mentorship.
When speaking of the period of early childhood, it should be mentioned that it is one of the most crucial aspects in terms of attachment formation and its potential outcomes for an individual. That is the extent to which attachment is formed in this period directly influences one’s ability to interact with other people once they are older. According to scholars, the level of attachment to the patterns is a decisive factor in the context of the child’s emotional regulation. A strong emotional bond with caregivers provides the children with the ability to identify the ways of managing stressful or negative situations in such a way that other behavioral patterns do not violate the security and comfort provided by the feeling of attachment. As a result, when they become older, people use such strategies on a level of subconsciousness in order to deal with stress, negative emotions, and interpersonal conflicts.
What is more, a secured form of attachment in early childhood helps children feel more positive about the world in general, as they tend to look at human interaction through the prism of love and support. Once this bond is violated by certain behavior expressed by the caregivers, the overall perception of reality obtains a rather negative attitude toward the child’s future. Hence, having considered the major points, it may be concluded that the attachment theory as a concept is part and parcel of developmental psychology, as it obtains explicit effect on the formation of human character and outlook.