With an interest and deep appreciation in both Psychoanalyst John Bowlby’s theory of attachment and the curiosity to understand if a connection exists between the attachment styles during infancy and childhood and a greater risk for depression in adulthood, I have discovered the concept of attachments styles is vitally important to healthy child development and social behaviors. Especially, since these affects appear to stretch across generations (U.S Department of Health and Human Services & Colin, 1991).
Bowlby defines attachment as “an enduring emotional bond characterized by a tendency to seek and maintain closeness to a specific figure, particularly during stressful situations (U.S Department of Health and Human Services & Colin, 1991, p. 2).” A sense of protection and psychological security stems from closeness between individuals, typically a child and their immediate caregiver. Although, I would correlate some of this theory with the temperament of the child, is it highly unlikely that a lack of closeness between a child and an immediate caregiver, such as the child’s mother, somehow poses a link between attachment developments during childhood to an increase risk for depression for adolescence and adults? Besides, security in relationships enhances self-esteem so without a sense of security in regards to others one’s sense of self-esteem might also be lacking.
If attachment theory is primarily a theory regarding the nature of all human beings because it stems across many of the critical elements of a person’s emotional life e.g. bonding, connectivity, anger, aggression, separation, etc., then a child’s first reaction to attachments will most likely influence future behaviors and relationships.