Attachment: Overview and Developmental Process

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What Is Attachment and How Does It Impact Parenting and Relationships?

by Megan Coggins


How does attachment develop?

Attachment is a powerful bond that began before you were born. The bond only continues as a newborn is laid on their mother’s chest and the baby and mother both produce oxytocin, which is a bonding and attachment hormone naturally produced in the body. Attachment keeps developing as mothers and fathers are attentive to their baby, making facial expressions with them, talking with them, and touching them. As children continue to develop, parents continue playing a role in developing healthy attachment with their children as kids begin to feel safe enough to explore the world around them, they also need to know that a parent is waiting for them in case they need help. Children who feel secure in knowing their parents are available for their emotional, physical, and mental needs, develop a healthy attachment with parents. Children who do not feel secure in that safe base with parents, can develop attachment styles based on anxiety, avoidance, or a feeling of being disorganized, not sure what to expect from their parent.  The Circle of Security Network produced a wonderful visual for how attachment develops with parents.

The attachment we develop with our parents carries into our future relationships. In the following blogs in this series, we will look at the different attachment styles from John Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, how they are formed and how they impact our relationship both with our parents and with current relationships, as well as how to develop healthy attachment with our children.

To further explore attachment contact Megan at or call 971-808-2686 ext. 700.

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