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By John Bowlby

The world-famous psychiatrist and writer of the vintage works Attachment, Separation, and Loss deals very important directions for baby rearing in keeping with the the most important function of early intimate relationships.

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Additional resources for A Secure Base: Parent-Child Attachment and Healthy Human Development

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When mother had been absent for a short time she was greeted warmly on her return. I will call these group X. There were no less than eleven children whose overall behaviour gave cause for concern and whom I will call group Z. Three of them were passive, both at home and in the test situation; they explored little and, instead, sucked a thumb or rocked. Constantly anxious about mother's whereabouts, they cried much in her absence but were contrary and difficult on her return. The other eight in this group alternated between appearing very independent and ignoring mother altogether, and then suddenly becoming anxious and trying to find her.

This is analogous to the 'reasons' for his behaviour concocted by someone who is, without knowing it, acting on a post-hypnotic suggestion. The distinction I have drawn between the function served by a certain form of behaviour and our knowledge of, and our striving to reach, the conditions that will terminate that behaviour is one of the criteria that distinguish the biological realm from the psychological. Another is the distinction between, on the one hand, the behavioural system, postulated as a biological given, together with some (though not all) of the conditions that activate and terminate it, and, on the other, our awareness of the urge to reach a certain goal and our effort to find means to do so.

Now it will be evident to everyone that detailed and accurate observations of these kinds, which demonstrate how enormously different the experiences of different children can be, are obtainable only by the methods used by these researchers. Had the observers not been present to see and hear what was going on but had relied instead on what the mothers told them, the pictures they would have got would in many cases have been entirely false; and all hope of finding significant correlations -49between the way a child develops and the way he is treated by his mother and father would have vanished.

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