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What Is Attachment And Why Is It Important To Young Children?

1401 words - 6 pages

A rising numbers of single parents and mothers returning to the workforce in recent years have resulted in an increase in alternate childcare arrangements for many children today. This consequently has led to the issues related to childcare and the effects it has on young children's attachments and their future. Evidence suggests that a childcare which is not of quality standards can impact the attachment a child has with their family and caregivers negatively influencing social and learning development. However, on the contrary research has shown that should a child acquire secure attachments through family and quality childcare, the impact has a positive effect thus positively influencing development and learning. Therefore, the purpose of this essay is to analyse the effects child care quality has on young children's attachments with their family, carers and ultimately the community.Attachment theory is a theory about the emotional affinity to seek closeness to another person, to feel secure when that person is present, and to feel anxious when that person is absent. It originated in 1958 when John Bowlby introduced the foundation of attachment concepts in his paper "the Nature of the Child's Tie to his Mother" and Harry Harlow's paper "the Nature of Love" which discusses the results of experiments with monkeys, exemplifying that infant monkey's preferred emotional attachment over food (Wikipedia, 2006).Therefore, as a result of the these theoretical grounds, together with much indirect evidence to suggest, attachments are an instinctive behavior which occur naturally with a caregiver, to protect from danger, facilitate safe exploration of the environment, teach children how to cope with the same problem in the future and provide a sense of security and trust (Bowlby,1982, as cited in Mardell 1992), These attachments generally occur firstly with the parents, however, when children are subjected to childcare at an early age they develop with their caregiver secondary attachments which also become very important (Gonzalez-Mena & Windmeyer-Eyer, 1989), in fact due to their findings, some researchers suggests is the most important determinant of secondary attachment for those children who attend childcare (Howes 1998, as cited in Mardell, 1992).Unfortunately it has been found that a slightly higher percentage of approximately 7% of insecure attachments in children can be attributed to children who attend childcare (Lamb, Sternberg & Prodomidis as cited in Berk, 2006). This can have considerable implications, as children who suffer from insecure attachment have been found to have more behavioral problems, lack confidence, are more aggressive and alarmingly have comparably higher cortisol levels, a chemical found to be released in the body when stress occurs, (Sims, Guilfoyle & Parry, 2005) and as established by many writers chronic stress has been associated to weaken the immune system leaving the child more prone to severe illness...

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