Rethinking Attachment for Early Childhood Practice: Promoting Security, Autonomy and Resilience in Young Children

By Sharne A. Rolfe | Go to book overview

4
Quality of attachment

In the previous chapter, the reasons that early attachment relationships are so important for child development were described. The concept of the internal working model was introduced to explain how and why the nature of caregiving by key attachment figures sets up expectancies about the self and the social world. In this chapter, we consider in detail two concepts central to attachment theory—security and insecurity, and the continuum between them. The work of various attachment theorists will be detailed and discussed, beginning with the pioneering work of Mary Ainsworth.


The concept of emotional security

It is widely understood that interpersonal experiences contribute in critical ways to the development of emotional security or insecurity. Attachment theory emphasises the role of attachment figures in this process, and that the roots of security (or insecurity) lie in the experience of caregiving by attachment figures particularly during the early years. Being responded to promptly, sensitively and consistently builds up the infant's sense that the world of people is

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