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What Is Parenthood?Contemporary Debates about the Family$
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Linda C. McClain and Daniel Cere

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814729151

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814729151.001.0001

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Biological and Psychological Dimensions of Integrative Attachments

Biological and Psychological Dimensions of Integrative Attachments

(p.193) Chapter Nine Biological and Psychological Dimensions of Integrative Attachments
What Is Parenthood?

Terence E. Hébert

Ellen Moss

Daniel Cere

Hyun Song

NYU Press

This chapter explores the biological and psychological bases of attachment, focusing on the development of bonds between parent and child. It first explains the biological bases of attachment relationships at a molecular, cellular, and genetic level. It argues that the intricate interconnections between pair-bonds and developmental processes are consistent with John Bowlby's original theories of the biological bases of the attachment system and its evolutionary function. It then offers a more organismic, behavioral, and social focus upon attachment. It identifies and interprets qualitatively different child-parent attachment patterns within an evolutionary framework and the role of secure and insecure attachment relationships in promoting survival of offspring. It considers the implications of psychological research findings for child welfare policy and attachment-based intervention models. Finally, the chapter concludes that the evidence concerning the evolution of complex biological and kinship patterns makes a strong case for caution with respect to changes in parenting structures and practices that would promote freedom, equality, and diversity in family forms without attention to the effects of such policies on children.

Keywords:   child-parent attachment, attachment relationships, child welfare policy, kinship, parenting, family forms

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