Peer Influences and Early Attachment

The attachment theory has been one of the most influential ideas in the field of
developmental psychology. Years of scientific research have shown enormous support for
this theory. However, more and more reports are emerging that demonstrate all parents,
particularly teenage mothers, are not embracing the available data that stresses the
importance of early attachments.
You have been asked to make a presentation for a teen parent support group at your local
health department. Utilize the information in the textbook related to attachment, cognitive,
moral, and gender development to design a brochure that can be used during your
presentation. While talking to the teen moms, make sure that you cover elements related to
their own development as adolescents. Do not forget to cover the impact of peer influences
on their parenting styles as well.
Your project must include a reference list. You must use your textbook and one additional
source in your brochure. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced.
Paraphrased and quoted material must have citations as well. Be creative in your response.
NOTE: Although you are welcome to state your personal opinion on this topic, please
design your brochure using the information covered in this unit.
Click here to access a PDF of an example of a brochure. Use Microsoft Word, or another
word processing program to create a three-column brochure in landscape orientation.
Microsoft Word provides several brochure templates you can use, or you can use,or you
can create your own.

Peer Influences and Early Attachment

In accordance to the present thinking with regard to
the development of children, an individual’s social life and its
quality is instilled at the age of three. This statement makes it
clear on the imperative influence of caregivers in early childhood. In better understanding the
effects which these caregivers posts to young children, we can evaluate the implication of the
attachment theory. According to this theory which has been backed by various researchers,

PEER INFLUENCE AND EARLY ATTACHMENT 2
interactions with our early caregivers are the main determinant for our future capability in
building cognitive abilities and emotional bonds with other people.

By the time a child reaches 3 years, he or she either feels secure or insecure in their
attachments with the caregivers. Those that feel secure normally have responsible caregivers
who regularly meet their requirements in terms of safety, food, and affection. In their
adolescent and subsequent adulthood phases, such children eventually develop a lasting
emotional relation with other people.
Three types of early attachments are extant, these include: ambivalent, avoidant, and
disorganized (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). Each of these
attachments is exhibited in the following ways.
Avoidance: This occurs when the caregiver depress a child’s expression of distress or
affection. In this situation, a child is discouraged on expressing his or her own feelings, further
dampening the child’s capability in feeling to be loved by others. Children in this situation

PEER INFLUENCE AND EARLY ATTACHMENT 3
normally withdraw themselves from social interactions and even become uncomfortable with
regard to their feelings or intimacy during their adulthood.
Ambivalent: This attachment takes place in the case when caregivers provide comfort
to children but irregularly. While they may appropriately respond to these children’s needs,
other times they don’t or act opposite. With such type of care, the young children become
uncertain on whether, the caregiver will be willing to give them what they require or not. In
their adolescence stage and subsequently adulthood, they gradually fail to trust people and are
at this time risk of eating and mood disorders.
Disorganized: This type of attachment occurs when either the child’s needs are explicitly
not met or they are abused. This form of attachment subsequently leads to delayed development,
aggressive or disruptive behavior, or social withdrawal. Adolescents or adults who encountered
disorganized attachments in their childhood become vulnerable to disorders and problems
associated with their mental health or personality aspects. Their interactions with other members
of the society are in most cases short lived or chaotic.
It is acknowledged that our style of attachment encountered in early childhood stays in
our entire lifespan. There are however times when individuals could learn alternative behavior
and ways of thought in improving their relations with other people. It is good to understand that
early childhood is just a time when these children grow rapidly, but it is also a time of mental
development. Cognitive abilities that are associated with memory, reasoning, thinking and
problem solving continue to develop in the entire childhood phases. Coming to adulthood,
cognitive abilities helps these individuals in organizing and interpreting information (Fernald ,
1995). Since establishing a strong attachment is so important to children, parents and caregivers ought to deliberate on ensuring that there

PEER INFLUENCE AND EARLY ATTACHMENT 4

children receive the type of care which encourages such strong attachments. There are numerous opportunities which you may employ in forming
secure attachment to your children.

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Reference

Fernald, A. (1985). “Four-month old infants prefer to listen to motherless” Infant Behavior and Development,
8, 181-182.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
(2010) “Abuse, Neglect, Adoption & Foster Care Research: National Survey of Child
and Adolescent Well-Being” (NSCAW), 1997-2010.

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