Parental dating and child attachment
In another article, I discuss how an avoidant attachment pattern develops when parents are cold, emotionally unavailable and distant, and children then try to shut down their awareness of their primary needs.
This article will explain how an ambivalent/anxious attachment develops in childhood and goes on to effect individuals in their adult relationships.
Attachment researchers have identified attunement as being significant in the formation of an attachment.
A lack of attunement or misattunement from a parent or primary caregiver results in an insecure attachment developing in the relationship with their child.
Attachment theory is the study of this primitive instinct and researchers have organized the various strategies into four categories of attachment patterns: secure attachment and two types of insecure attachment, avoidant attachment and anxious attachment.
The fourth attachment category, known as disorganized attachment, occurs when no organized strategy is formed.
Children with an ambivalent/anxious attachment pattern tend to cling to their attachment figures and often act desperate for their attention.
Mary Ainsworth, who assessed children’s attachment patterns at 12 to 18 months, noted that when the children with anxious attachment were reunited with their mothers, they were confused, dazed or agitated; staring off into space and avoiding direct eye contact with her. They remained intensely focused on their mother, but did not seem to be satisfied or comforted.
Therefore, a child imitates the ambivalent/anxious attachment strategies of their parent.