Why interactions matter
As we have seen in the last two chapters, attachment theorists emphasise that caregiving interactions not only promote basic survival but, just as importantly, influence aspects of the child's psychological development in profound ways. In this chapter we explore the central role of attachment figures in the formation of the child's internal working model of self and others. The internal working model is considered in relation to two key, interconnected aspects of personality development: the emerging sense of self and the development of emotional self-regulation.
Attachment theory ascribes a pivotal role to the caregiver–child relationship in the formation of human personality, including the sense of self. It is not the only theory to do so. Other writings on developmental processes that accord with this view include those of Erikson (1963), Freud (1965), Winnicott (1965), Mahler et al (1975) and Bronfenbrenner (1979). A common theme is the belief