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Can Early Infants - Parents Attachment Styles Affect Adults' Love Relationships?

Updated on November 1, 2014

Often times, some relationship issues could be avoided, if we only knew more about love, or had taken the time out to know our prospective partners better. For example, if only we had had the knowledge about infant- parent attachment styles, and how they may affect our adult's love relationship beforehand, this could have prevented us from getting in some of our most regretful relationships.

From a developmental standpoint, it's believed that us human-beings have learned different things about love, during an early stage of our lives, in particular, during early childhood; as a result, our adult relationships differ. More specifically, it has been said that adults show three major styles of love relationship, which copy the types of attachments that had developed between them and their parents, in particular mothers, who are usually the primary caregivers during early infancy(early infants-parents attachments).

Because the style of love relationship that we often demonstrate during adulthood is usually a replica of the early infants-parents attachment styles we had experienced, it's of paramount importance that we examine these types of attachments that are usually developed between infants and their parents, according to researchers, in order to get a better understanding as to how each type of attachment may affect adults' love relationships.

The following are the three styles of attachment and their effects on Adults' love relationships.

1.Secure Style Of Attachment

Adults who have received this type of attachment during early childhood, are believed to find it much easier to get close to a partner without feeling uncomfortable relying on him/her. They seldom worry about being abandoned or having someone demanding too much intimacy of them. They are usually described as confident,likeable and opened.

2.Anxious/Avoidant Style of Attachment

These adults usually feel uncomfortable when someone tries to get close to them. According to human development experts, they don't like to be dependent, and they also don't easily completely trust another person. They are usually seen as relatively defensive.

3.Anxious/Ambivalent Style of Attachment

You will often hear these people complaining that their partners are unwilling to get as emotionally close as they would like. They often question their partners love for them or in other words, they often think their partners don't really love them and might break-up with them soon. They tend to scare people away from them sometimes, because of their desire to get extremely close to them. They can be somewhat clingy. They are usually found to be self-conscious , insecure,and preoccupied with relationship issues.

Many human behavior specialist strongly believe that these three above styles of attachment are as a result of the child's relationship with parents during infancy. They have also come to realize that adults' descriptions of their parents' behavior toward them during early childhood could be used to determine the nature of their most important adult love relationships.

Based on findings, individuals with a secure style of attachment, frequently describe their parents as generally warm and supportive. Contrarily, those with an anxious /avoidant style of attachment, often mention that their parents were demanding, critical, and uncaring. Finally,those with an anxious/ambivalent style of attachment, frequently described their parents as unpredictable -- sometimes responsible, and other times not.


Based on all that has been discovered about early infant-parent attachment styles and how they may affect later adult love relationship, it seems as if, by just listening attentively to how a man or a woman describes his/her parents, in particular mothers, this could tell us what to expect of that person or the relationship issues we might experience, if we were to pursue a love relationship with that man or woman.

Copyright (c) I. McFarlane 20012


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    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 5 years ago from Philadelphia

      I am somewhat not surprised with what you have read about "how a mother's emotional life can affect the development of the personality of the fetus". In fact, I have also read that a fetus can detect certain sounds in the outside environment; matter of fact,the newborn child is able to remember these sounds. There are so many things unexplained!

    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 5 years ago from Miami, US

      Interesting! I've even read articles about how a mother's emotional life can affect the development of the personality of the fetus, though thats a relatively unexplored arena. Voted up.

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 5 years ago from Philadelphia

      Sorry to hear about your personal experiences. It's very sad when children especially, have to be exposed to unpleasant adult's issues at an early age. I am glad to know that despite all these psychosocial issues that you have experienced in your life, you were able to continue loving yourself, and remain healthy and strong. It has been said that life is not a bed of roses, there will always be obstacles in our lives, but we can overcome if we have the will and the desire to rise above them. As parents we ought to be more considerate of our children!

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 5 years ago from Philadelphia

      Lol!You finally figured this out! It has been said that we learn something new each day of our lives(this applies to me also). Over the past years through my personal experiences, observation and laborious research,I have discovered a lot about love and relationships, but still have a lot more to learn.

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 5 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      hmm...interesting. I think this might apply in some situations, but in my own life, it was more because of parents both remarried several times, families were changed frequently, and whole list of factors in there with substances, abuse etc. I don't think some people like me although at one time may have needed to learn certain lessons about relationships and examples, it is a choice I made to better myself and love myself, where probably now I am more of healthier than most people. While others may go the other way and repeat generational bondages, and addictions, etc. It is a lot of hard work to break free from many dysfunctions in families, but at the same time, you can come from a very healthy and wealthy family and be all mixed up too. :)

    • Sheila Lee profile image

      Sheila Lee 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you so much for this hub. Now I know why my husband is the way he is! I voted up!