Typical Behaviors Seen with an Anxious Attachment

Anxiously attached infants, toddlers, and preschoolers have not experienced consistent availability of and comfort from their caregivers when their environment has proven threatening. Their requests for attention are often met with rebuff, indifference, or with inconsistent comfort. They become anxious about the availability of their caregiver, fearing that the caregiver will be unresponsive or ineffectively responsive when needed. They often show anger toward their caregiver for their lack of responsiveness and perhaps as a way to punish their caregiver in the hope that their caregiver will become more consistently available. Anxiously attached infants, toddlers, and preschoolers do not feel free to explore their environment without worry, so they cannot achieve the same mastery and confidence in themselves as securely attached children.

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