Evidence based practice summary – Why involving fathers is essential!

14-May-2014

Contents

Fathers’ attachment to their children

According to attachment theory

a secure relationship is essential for a child’s healthy development into adulthood[i]. In the past, studies surrounding the development of children have focused almost exclusively on a child's relationships with their mother. Today, fathers play a unique and crucial role in nurturing and guiding the child's development. Many researchers now believe that fathers can be just as nurturing and sensitive with their babies as mothers[ii] even though they may be expressed differently. Healthy child development relies on the roles played by both the mother and father respectively, whether they live together or apart. The early years of bonding and attachment are crucial to the developing child's brain which sets the blueprint for the rest of their lives.

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[i] Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Clinical applications of attachment theory, London: Routledge.

[ii] Berk, L. (2006). 'Emotional Development', Child Development (7th ed.). p 428-429 Boston: Pearson Publishing.


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