Parent-infant attachment

Parent-infant attachment refers to the unique emotional relationship between an infant and his or her parent or primary caretaker. This attachment is a bond that endures over time and can lead the infant to feel happy and safe and be calm enough to experience optimal development.  Attachment theory holds that a consistent primary caregiver is necessary for an infant’s optimal development as closeness to the attachment figure provides protection and a psychological sense of security. Parent-infant attachment is a critical factor in the way a child’s brain organizes itself and influences social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development. To track data on this outcome measure, programs should collect participant data at intake/enrollment; at 3, 6, or 12 months after point of enrollment; and at termination/exit.

Work Cited

Ainsworth, M. D. S., & Bowlby, J. (1991), An ethological approach to personality development. American Psychologist, 46, 331-341.

Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Parent-child attachment and healthy human development. New York: Basic Books.
Bornstein, M.H. (1989). Sensitive periods in development: Structural characteristics and causal interpretations. Psychological Bulletin 105(2): 179-197.

Belsky, J. C., Hertzog, C., & Revine, M. (1986). Causal analyses of multiple determinants of parenting: Empirical and methodological advances. In M. E. Lamb, A. L. Brown, & B. Rogoff (Eds.), Advances in Developmental Psychology, Volume 4 (pp. 153-202). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.