Early attachment with parents affects behaviour in kids

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Washington, Mar 25 (ANI): Kids, especially boys, who are insecurely attached to their mothers in the early years, tend to have more behaviour problems later in childhood, according to a new analysis.

Researchers at the University of Reading, the University of Leiden, the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health National Health Service Trust, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted the meta-analysis of 69 studies involving almost 6,000 children ages 12 and younger.

According to attachment theory, children with secure attachments have repeated experiences with caregivers who are responsive to their needs and thus expect their caregivers to be available and comforting when called upon.

On the other hand, kids with insecure attachments have experiences in which requests are discouraged, rejected, or responded to inconsistently, which is thought to make them vulnerable to developing behavioural problems.

The researchers sought to clarify the extent to which bonds between children and their moms early in life affect children's later behavioural problems, such as aggression or hostility; behaviour problems were measured up to age 12.

The studies resorted to a range of methods for assessing children's behaviour problems, including parent and teacher questionnaires and direct observations.

"The results suggest that the effects of attachment are reliable and relatively persistent over time. More specifically, children who seem unable to maintain a coherent strategy for coping with separation are at greatest risk for later behavior problems and aggression," noted Pasco Fearon, the study's lead author.

The study has been published in the latest issue of the journal Child Development. (ANI)

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