Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love

Becoming Attached: First Relationships and How They Shape Our Capacity to Love Author Robert Karen
ISBN-10 0195115015
ISBN-13 9780195115017
Year 1998-04-23
Pages 512
Language English
Publisher Oxford University Press
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The struggle to understand the infant parent bond ranks as one of the great quests of modern psychology one that touches us deeply because it holds so many clues to how we become who we are How are our personalities formed How do our early struggles with our parents reappear in the way we relate to others as adults Why do we repeat with our own children seemingly against our will the very behaviors we most disliked about our parents In Becoming Attached psychologist and noted journalist Robert Karen offers fresh insight into some of the most fundamental and fascinating questions of emotional life Karen begins by tracing the history of attachment theory through the controversial work of John Bowlby a British psychoanalyst and Mary Ainsworth an American developmental psychologist who together launched a revolution in child psychology Karen tells about their personal and professional struggles their groundbreaking discoveries and the recent flowering of attachment theory research in universities all over the world making it one of the century s most enduring ideas in developmental psychology In a world of working parents and makeshift day care the need to assess the impact of parenting styles and the bond between child and caregiver is more urgent than ever Karen addresses such issues as What do children need to feel that the world is a positive place and that they have value Is day care harmful for children under one year What experiences in infancy will enable a person to develop healthy relationships as an adult and he demonstrates how different approaches to mothering are associated with specific infant behaviors such as clinginess avoidance or secure exploration He shows how these patterns become ingrained and how they reveal themselves at age two in the preschool years in middle childhood and in adulthood And with thought provoking insights he gives us a new understanding of how negative patterns and insecure attachment can be changed and resolved throughout a person s life The infant is in many ways a great mystery to us Every one of us has been one many of us have lived with or raised them Becoming Attached is not just a voyage of discovery in child emotional development and its pertinence to adult life but a voyage of personal discovery as well for it is impossible to read this book without reflecting on one s own life as a child a parent and an intimate partner in love or marriage

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