Rethinking attachment in
early childhood policy and
It is said that ideas are only as good as what you can do with them. If so, a theory dealing with development in early childhood might best be judged by its ability to generate productive research, and on the extent to which it—and the outcomes of the research— make a positive difference in the lives of people, particularly children and families. There is no doubt that attachment theory has achieved well on both these fronts. Attachment research is flourishing. As we have seen, major longitudinal and cross-sectional research programs inspired by attachment theory have begun to provide answers to important questions to do with children, their relationships and their development. Thousands of smaller scale studies, in combination, are also contributing new insights. Research considered in this book is fuelling exciting, provocative and ongoing debates and controversies. These in turn are generating more questions, more ideas, more research and, hopefully, more answers.
In the areas of child and family policy and practice, major changes in hospital procedures, and in the placement of children