Early Relationships How They Shape Us and How They Shape Relationships with People When We Are Adults

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Early relationships how they shape us and how they shape relationships with people when we are adults Abstract (100) Introduction (550) Attachment is a strong emotional relationship between two people. A bond is formed that is on-going over time. These relationships are important and can be with a partner, spouse, parent, close relation or a friend. This type of relationships is valued and rewarding. A close relationship is developed and people feel secure with each other. These types of relationships become part of mental life and contribute to the well-being and security for many people (Wood, Littleton and Oates, 2007). It is assumed that individuals have a particular style of behaviour in relationships and that these styles are developed from early infancy with a caregiver and previous earlier relationships (Wood et. al., 2007). These relationships during childhood are likely to play an important part on how individuals develop through childhood and later life. Bowlby is a key figure in development of the of attachment theory. His theory suggests that the infant needs a secure base to explore from and return to. He defined a secure base as being a place where the infant can explore into the outside world and return to knowing that the mother figure will respond to the infant’s need for food, comfort and reassurance if distressed or fearful (Wood et. al., 2007). He believed that this relationship with the mother figure formed a set of expectations for relationships during childhood and later life. This was Bowlby’s concept of the internal working model where the infant formed expectations of the self, the mother figure and a model of the relationship between the two (Wood, et. al., 2007). He believed that a healthy internal working model was essential for later mental health and future relationships (Wood, et al., 2007).

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