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Adult Attachment

This bond does not always form securely. Ainsworth (1979) found three major categories of infant-caregiver attachments. Secure attachments are characterized by an infant who seeks out the caregiver in times of fear or anxiety, is soothed by the caregiver, and who explores their environment when the caregiver is nearby. This type of attachment is usually created by a caregiver that is warm, supportive, and consistently responds to the infants needs. This is the ideal. It is a healthy, strong bond that will support the growing child. If the bond is not made securely, the infant may become insecurely attached.

Ainsworth (1979) categorized insecures into two groups: insecure-ambivalent (later called anxious) and insecure-avoidant. Insecure-ambivalent attachments are characterized by a heightened need for attachment. They switch back and forth from a desperate seeking of the caregiver (clinging) to anger when the caregiver attempts to soothe them. This attachment is usually produced by an inconsistently responsive caregiver. The child does not know if the caregiver is going to provide them the attention they need, so they cling when they are receiving it and desperately cling when they are not. Insecure-avoidant children are the most independent, but that is not always a good thing. They do not seek the caregiver in times of anxiety and show little or no distress when the caregiver leaves. Their exploratory activities seem to be defensive or compulsive. (Zeifman & Hazan, 1997) This type of attachment is a result of a caregiver being distant and unresponsive to the child. This bond is not secure because the child learns that this person is not going to care for them.

This early attachment bond is very evolutionarily productive. It helps to meet two of the major evolutionary goals of our species. It helps the baby to survive

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