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what’s behind it? binding types and more

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In order for children to develop well, they need one thing above all, and that is a good bond. This is created in the first months of the child and affects its development. What exactly is affiliate bonding? Are there different types of bindings? What is a good union?

attachment theory

If you want to learn more about child bonding, you will definitely come across Attachment theory developed by Bolwby. This assumes that all people born with a certain behavior system state, which is important for survival. In relation to young children and their parents, this is expressed in the so-called attachment behavior of child aa caring behavior Parents. Toddlers are instinctively ready to seek protection and comfort from their loved ones reference persons to search. This willingness then develops into a bond with these people. Close reference persons are usually the mother or father, but such reference persons may also be grandparents, other relatives or loved ones. According to Bowlby, you can connect since about a year as the so-called attachment behavior watches. This is then triggered when the toddler va threatening or new situation to come looking for closeness to a reference person and thus experience safety. He hypothesized that such attachment behavior could be observed by clinging, crying, screaming, or chasing.

as counterpart to this attachment behavior Bowlby led the so-called exploratory behavior on. This always shows when a toddler feel safe. Accordingly, the behavior of attachment and exploration alternately discover. Exploratory behavior involves exploring the environment.

Thus, according to Bowlby’s attachment theory, children engage in exploratory behaviors when they feel safe and secure and attachment behaviors when they are insecure or uncomfortable to demonstrate closeness caregiver search which as one “secure base” act. The two behaviors would alternate constantly.

Different types of bindings

According to Bolwby’s theory, the attachment of the child is expressed by alternating exploratory and attachment behavior. This original theory was supported Ainsworth tested and expanded using standardized behavioral observation, so-called “Strange Situation”WITH toddlers (1 year) and their reference persons (mothers) developed and implemented. This procedure is for Children from 12 to 18 months suitable. In this “strange situation”, the mother and child are in a playroom that the child does not know, with another stranger. In the presence of the mother, the described exploratory behavior of the child should be observable. On the contrary, the planned separation of the mother from the child is supposed to induce binding behavior on the part of the child.

It turned out that not all children showed the alternation between exploratory and attachment behavior as Bowlby had hypothesized. Rather, you have them connecting the child to three different types can divide. Through further research, he could later still another type of binding are processed, so the one today from 4 different binding types it comes from young children. These types classify the attachment of the child in terms of the displayed behavior, but also in terms of the quality of the attachment. The types are:

  • Insecure and Avoidant Attachment (Type A)
  • Secure Binding (Type B)
  • Insecure Ambiguous Connection (Type C)
  • Disorganized Attachment (Type D)

IN insecure-avoidant attachment to be it attachment behavior by the children hardly noticeableWhereas the Exploratory behavior strongly pronounced be. After being separated from their caregivers, this does not seem to affect these children and they would just continue to play. Even if the caregiver returns, there is almost no feeling, on the contrary, the children prefer to ignore them and sometimes prefer a stranger. What appears at first glance to be unproblematic and “easy to care for”, however, is a disadvantage, as it is by no means the case that children are not really affected by the situation as much as it seems. On the contrary, it is the case that Separation from the caregiver also leads to stress for them and as a result cortisol in the body of children increases. Even the return of the caregiver does not relieve stress from the children, which is why the cortisol level remains high for several hours. So these kids should Deficiencies in expressing your feelings and emotions and cope with them other than through the exploratory behavior shown, which is their compensatory strategy.

In home visits to families, it was found with regard to maternal behavior that mothers insecure avoidant children they offer little intimacy and security if the children needed it because it was theirs close physical contact in itself somewhat unpleasant. Children’s increased focus on their external world is an adaptation to this behavior of mothers.

IN safe bond so be it Exploratory and attachment behaviors actually alternate was observable. Bonding behavior is triggered by the separation of the child and the caregiver, after which the children would express their feelings by crying, screaming, etc. and would not allow themselves to be comforted by a stranger. When the caregiver returns, children seek their proximity and are quick to comfort them. They then again displayed exploratory behavior, exploring the room and also seeking contact with the stranger. and children’s strategies be with it OPEN and they could have theirs Express feelings freely. Cortisol produced in the child’s body as a result of a stressful situation also immediately decreases again when the caregiver is again present and comforting the child.

Based on behavior mother it was observed during home visits that these sensitive to their children and their behavior I would. They would offer closeness and protection in situations where it was necessary for children, but also encourage children’s searching behavior in an age-appropriate way.

IN insecure-ambivalent attachment outweigh however observed attachment behavior clear compared to exploratory behavior. These children would react particularly insecurely when separated from their caregiver and exhibit extreme attachment behaviors, ie crying, running to the door, etc. However, when the caregiver returns, even they cannot calm them down. The children would try to be close to them, but at the same time they would show annoyance with them, for example by pushing them away, but then they would try to make contact again. So you are torn between anger and need for closeness. Even in the presence of the caregiver, the children would not behave inquisitively and would hardly socialize with a stranger. The increased level of cortisol caused by a stressful situation also remains high for a longer period of time in these children, because appropriate compensatory behavior is also missing.

Behavior too mothers these children different and ambivalent they were on home visits. In some cases they would sensitively offer closeness and safety when needed, sometimes they would turn the children away and not offer it. As a result, the children would be unsure of how the mother would react in the future and would therefore reinforce attachment behaviors in order to use the mother’s protection when needed.

The one mentioned later unordered attachment type characterized by the fact that these children bizarre behavior would manifest itself in separation from the caregiver as well as in merging. They would have no strategy to deal with such situations, which means, for example, they would perform the same movements over and over and hardly show any feelings. You would feel powerless, overwhelmed and powerless, perceiving the situation as a loss of control. This type of attachment would occur in children who conflicting experiences with the caregiver would do First, give them the person safetybut on the other hand he is also afraid or a resource fear for kids. Therefore, the child does not know how to behave. This would happen e.g experiences of abuse reference person. Cortisol levels in these children are not only elevated long after the situation, but permanently.

in older children shows attachment behavior different by age. As already mentioned, these types of attachment have been observed in children between the ages of 12 and 18 months, and therefore relate specifically to the attachment of children in this age group.


In conclusion, it can be said that the child’s attachment is transitory Attachment and exploratory behavior displayed in various forms. There are four types of attachment in children between the ages of 12 and 18 months. IN insecure-avoidant attachment exploratory behavior is more pronounced at the expense of attachment behavior. These children cannot adequately express their feelings and therefore do not adequately deal with stressful situations. IN safe bond bonding alternates with exploratory behavior and meeting the caregiver solves a stressful situation for children. IN uncertain ambivalent bond binding behavior at the expense of exploratory behavior is more prominent. Even after the return of the reference person, the children do not allow themselves to be calmed down and fluctuate back and forth between the need for closeness and anger at the person. They also do not have an adequate strategy for coping with stressful situations. children with disorganized attachment they exhibit bizarre behavior that is neither attachment nor exploration. This can happen when children perceive the caregiver as a source of security on the one hand, but also as a source of fear on the other and do not know how to behave. Children can to various reference persons too different types of bonds have. In addition, the bond type may change change over time.

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