Insecure attachment— avoidant type

(child avoids close relationships)

Caregiver: Parent does not respond or comfort the child when the child is crying. Parent avoids holding the child.

Child:The child plays but doesn't pay attention to the parent when she or he is in the room.When the parent leaves,the child doesn't act upset.When the parent comes back, the child turns away or avoids the parent.

Expectations: Children learn to look for comfort from someone other than their parent. Children hold back from other relationships.They're afraid that there is no one they can count on. Children begin to think that they are not worthy of love and attention.

Percent of attachment types found in research with children raised by their parents 2,4

Insecure attachment— disorganized type

(child feels confused and fearful about close relationships)3

Caregiver:The parent shows real instability in how he or she responds to or supports the child.The parent may abuse or neglect the child. The parent may act afraid or behave in a way that frightens the child.

Child:The child does not explore the surroundings.The child seems confused and may act angry toward the parent.When the parent comes back after being away, the child does not look for the parent for comfort.The child may seem afraid of the parent or behave in strange or inconsistent ways.

Expectations: Children learn that the parent can't be counted on for support and comfort. Children don't develop trust in relation-ships.They may be afraid of the parent or the parent's actions. Children begin to be confused about themselves and their worth.

Most children who do not experience abuse or neglect and who live with both of their parents form secure attachments. However, most abused children develop insecure attachments, usually the disorganized type. Researchers are just beginning to look at attachments in families where grandparents are raising grandchildren.

secure avoidant ambivalent disorganized

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