In studying the outcomes of Ainsworth’s Strange Situation experiments, L. Alan Sroufe found that the style of early attachment relationships predicts later emotional development of children. Sroufe asserts that, “Such variations [of relationship quality] are not reflections of genetically based traits of the infant but of the history of interaction with the parent” (188). This suggests that attachment styles are not inborn but are driven by how parents interact with their infant from birth. Longitudinal attachment studies show that children with anxious attachment were likely to be emotionally disturbed and have low self-esteem (Sroufe 190). If the form of attachment has such long-lasting impacts on children, it is clear that parents must treat their children in ways that foster secure attachment in order for the children to grow into emotionally stable adolescents and adults.


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