It is a general assumption that almost all adults have gone through relationships with other persons, mainly because they all exist in the society, which is primarily based on interactions and relationships. Indeed such relationships-whether filial or romantic, have varied with each different person that one gets into a relationship with, where many attribute such differences to the others’ background and personal inclinations. This paper seeks to gain insight on what psychologists have learnt from research about continuities and discontinuities in attachments through the lifespan of an individual.
According to conducted research, there exists an undeniable relationship between the early childhood experiences and a person’s behavior in later years (Rutter & Sroufe, 2000). An inference such as this, based on numerous psychological findings which indicate the existence of attachments with remain all through a life span- from infancy to adulthood. It also means that the attachment organizations continue to have similar patterns amongst persons through their childhood and young adulthood. What this implies that one remains to have the same attachments in his twenties-the same as he did while he was a child.
Between ages, 1 and 4, it has been noted that attachment patterns are irregular and highly inconsistent as per the various methods of evaluation that were used. This finding is mainly attributed to the young children's delicate state to surrounding factors that may be in constant change. Such changes include having of a newborn, beginning of school and parents getting part-time jobs just to state but a few. Essentially, related research in this field show that the attachment consistencies are directly proportional and related to the stability of one's relationship environment. This, therefore, means that infants who grow up in stable and more consistent relationship environments end up having unchanged attachment styles.
This, therefore, leads to the resultant deduction that such relationship environments change with a particular social setting and status of the persons, hence affecting the attachment consistency as well (Howe, 2011). Although there is continuity of secure attachments when family life is stable and parents themselves have a secure attachment, this is less likely to be the case in situations of poverty, disadvantage, and parental maltreatment where children are seen to have less continuity in their attachment organization over time.
Change in attachment has evidently been found to be most prevalent in childhood, more so instances where there are major shifts in the care being given (Sher, 2010). A suitable example is the finding that parents who separated when their children were young left them at heightened risks of them having attachment insecurity. When compared to parents who part ways when their children are about to enter adolescence, the risk of have such insecurities is seen to be greatly reduced. This further affirms the stated position that later relationships in life are highly determined by the early childhood experiences of the same kind. According to Bowldy’s understanding, the attachment patterns change with the change as the partner-to-partner relationship or parent-to-child-relationship changes. This can be further elaborated by various settings, such as that of a stressful. Caregivers have a higher probability of losing focus and giving less attention to their children on the onset of stressful events. In turn, these causes the young ones to less understood, recognized and appreciated. Insecurity then befalls the young lad inevitably and forms a rudimentary basis of his or her attachment patterns.
Babies' change in the positive has also been noted in several instances, where they change for previously predominant state of insecurity to one of security. The classic example is that of a single mother living less stressful lives. This can be seen in cases where the mother may move with her child to a place much closer to her parents and other relatives immediately bringing about uplift in the child's social setting and the relationship attachment as well. Deeper insight into such issues has led to arguments that the caregivers do play a more critical role in the later relationship attachments of an individual, mainly due to their responsibility to choose a particular setting in which the infant grows up. This is purely based on the understanding that a change in the caregiver’s environment can either increase or decrease their sensitivity and attunement.
Despite there being stability in the attachment patterns of an individual in his adulthood, there are lingering possibilities that change in attachment may occur at such a stage. If one's key relationships and day-to-day environmental settings remain the same and of a similar routine, then his dispositional representations and attachment styles are less likely to shift. Essentially, attachments form in the context of close relationships, which have been found to be the set ups the for one’s most tumultuous emotion-whether negative or positive. Similarly, identification of the basis and profiling of such emotions can lead to the understanding of key defining features in any relationship. The sensitivity and responsiveness of the significant other will determine whether, the attachment is secured or insecure (Howe, 2011).
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