• • • •

School
of
Social
Work
 University
of
Minnesota,
Twin
Cities
 SW
5810
Child
Development:
Resilience
&
Risk
 Jane
F.
Gilgun,
Ph.D.,
LICSW
 October
3,
2009
 
 Notes
Toward
What
do
I
Want
Students
to
Know
about
Attachment
 Child
neurobiology
and
parental
attachment
styles
affect
quality
of
 attachment
 In
secure
attachments,
parents
serve
as
secure
bases
from
which
children
 explore
and
to
which
they
return
in
times
of
stress
 In
secure
attachments,
parents
serve
as
safe
havens
where
child
receive
 comfort
and
soothing
and
where
they
learn
to
self‐regulate
 Attachment
between
parents
and
children
is
observable
and
shows
itself
in
 behaviors
such
as

 o attunement
and
mutual
regulation,

 o parental
sensitive
responsiveness,

 o parents
as
safe
havens
or
not
and
serve
as
a
place
to

  process
environmental
events
or
not
  learn
to
cope
or
not
 Attachment
is
a
relationship,
but
can
look
at
child
and
parent
behaviors
 separately
but
always
in
the
context
of
relationships



 o Two
broad
types
of
attachment
 o Secure
 o Insecure
 • Secure

 o Child
Attachment
Style

  One
kind:
secure—most
of
the
time
 o 
Adult
Attachment
Style
  Secure—most
of
the
time
  Resolved—at
least
coping
well
 • Insecure
Child
Attachment
Styles
 o Ambivalent/Resistant
 o Avoidant
 o Disorganized
 o RAD
 • Insecure
Adult
Attachment
Style
 o Preoccupied
 o Dismissive

 o Disorganized
 
 o How
Child/Adult
Attachment
Styles
Mesh
 o Children’s
attachment
styles
typically
mirror
parents’
attachment
styles
 o Parents
with
secure/resolved
attachment
styles
typically
raise
children
 with
secure
attachment
styles



 
attachment:
Gilgun


2


o Parents
with
insecure
attachment
styles
typically
raise
children
with
 insecure
attachment
styles
 
 o Parental
attunement
 o In
secure
attachments,
parents
are
sensitively
and
contingently
 responsive
to
their
children

 o Synchrony

 o In
secure
attachments,
parents
and
children
mutually
regulate
each
 others
interactions
 
 o Notions
of
breakdown
and
repair
in
relationships
 o Parents
cannot
always
be
sensitively
attuned
 o Children
as
well
as
parents
may
require
rest
from
interactions
 o Breakdowns
in
secure
attachments
are
inevitable
 o In
secure
attachments,
attunement
in
re‐established
when
both
parents
 and
children
are
ready
to
tune
back
in
 o In
secure
relationships
between
parents
and
children
who
can
talk,

repairs
are
 made
in
developmentally
appropriate
through
talk
as
well
as
behavior
 o Repair,
therefore,
sometimes
takes
effort
and
capacities
to
admit
 mistakes
and
take
responsibility;
this
does
not
diminish
parental
 authority
 
 o Inner
working
models
(IWM)
 o develop
from
child‐parent/caregiver
interaction
as
well
as
from
 interaction
with
others
 o definition:
road
maps,
schemas,
inner
representations
that
are
encoded
in
 brain
circuits
about
self,
others,
and
how
the
world
works
 o human
beings
seem
to
have
“layers”
of
inner
working
models,
some
laid
 down
in
infancy,
early
childhood,
etc
 o Not
all
inner
working
models
are
based
upon
“resolved”
breakdowns
in
 relationships.
 o more
“mature”
inner
working
models
may
be
operative
in
the
normal
 course
of
a
day,
but
during
times
of
stress
older
inner
working
models
 developed
during
infancy
and
other
earlier
times
may
be
activated
 o In
times
of
stress,
then,
children,
parents,
and
all
of
us
may
“regress”
to
 earlier
ways
of
seeing
ourselves,
others,
and
the
world
 o If
these
IWM
have
developed
from
secure
relationships
that
include
 consistent
repair,
then
they
are
functional.
 o Typically,
many
“older”
IWMs
have
elements
of

“unresolved
 breakdowns”
and
therefore
are
based
upon
children’s
misunderstandings
 and
encoding
of
past
unmanaged
stresses
and
traumas
 o Children,
teens,
and
adults
may
therefore
dysregulate
because
these
older
 more
chaotic
schemas
may
activate




 
attachment:
Gilgun


3



 o Attachment
relationships
are
connected
to
 o Neurobiology:
how
the
brain
works
affects
capacities
for
relationships
 and
therefore
for
IWMs
 o Executive
function
(EF):
planning,
anticipation
of
consequences,
 judgment
develop
within
relationships;
except
when
neurobiology
sets
 limit
or
traumas
cannot
be
managed,
children
with
secure
relationships
 with
their
parents
will
have
good
executive
functioning.
This
assumes
 that
parents
with
secure/resolved
attachment
styles
themselves
have
 good
executive
functioning.

 o Trauma:
unmanaged
trauma
can
interfere
with
the
development
of
 secure
attachment
styles.
Parents
must
learn
to
manage
their
own
trauma
 and
children
require
trauma‐specific
interventions
in
the
safety
of
secure
 relationships;
think
about
IWM,
SR,
EF,
and
neurobiology
 o Self‐Regulation
(SR):
self‐regulation
is
part
of
executive
function
and
 good
self‐regulation
develops
in
the
context
of
secure
relationships
 
 Figure
1
shows
how
attachment
is
related
to
these
other
dimensions
of
human
 development.

These
first
letter
of
each
of
these
five
elements
is
the
acronym
NEATS.

 
 Figure
1:
Interrelationships
of
the
Elements
of
the
NEATS




 
 Implications
for
Practice
 o Social
workers
do
all
they
can
to
encourage
parents
to
become
emotionally
 available
and
attuned
to
their
children
 o This
includes
finding
resources
for
basic
human
needs



 
attachment:
Gilgun


4
 o Can
include
a
range
of
services
 o Recognition
of
the
many
barriers
to
appropriate
service
provision
 o Recognition
of
the
many
reasons
parents
may
be
unable
to
respond
 o Sometimes
service
providers
cannot
find
ways
to
work
with
some
 parents,
typically
because
we
don’t
know
enough
and
are
not
skilled
 enough

and
sometimes
no
one
we
know
knows
enough

and
is
skilled
 enough
to
help
us
 o Before
any
of
this
is
possible,
parents
and
service
providers
typically
require
 secure
relationships,
called
working
alliances,
sometimes
 o Service
providers
provide
a
secure
base
and
a
safe
haven
  Not
as
“rescuing”
but
as
a
time‐limited
measure
where
services
 are
devised
so
that
parents
and
children
can
find
long‐term
 secure
bases
and
safe
havens
that
are
a
natural
part
of
their
 environments
  Therefore
important
to
see
how
to
help
children
and
parents
 work
through
issues
related
to
trauma,
self‐regulation,
and
 executive
function
  Service
providers
themselves
behave
in
ways
that
show
they
 have
good
self‐regulation
and
executive
function
 o New
research
shows
that
children
can
achieve
more
optimal
functioning
 when
parents
become
emotionally
available
 o Even
when
parents
do
not
have
good
working
alliances
with
service
 providers
 o Typically,
however,
service
providers
play
a
role
in
supporting
 parents
in
becoming
more
emotionally
available
 o Service
providers
seek
services
that

 o have
hopes
of
repairing
blocks
to
parental
emotional
availability
to
 the
children
 o that
help
children
deal
with
issues
that
arise
as
consequences
of
 insecure
relationships
  many
different
services
can
provide
the
safety,
predictability,
 and
attunement
that
are
part
of
secure
relationships


The
principles
of
children’s
mental
health
are
starting
points
for
case
 planning.
In
any
child
placement,
the
goal
is
warmth,
affection,
security,
 predictability,
clear
rules,
immediate
brief
recognition
for
prosocial
behaviors
and
 following
rules,
and
very
brief
consequences
that
do
not
interfere
with
children’s
 physical,
social,
and
emotional
development.
Parents,
foster
parents,
and
other
care
 providers
do
well
when
they
are
knowledgeable
about
the
NEATS,
update
their
 knowledge
of
child
development
and
parenting
periodically,
and
have
supportive
 families
and
friends.

 When
children
have
special
needs,
care
providers
do
well
with
parent
 support
groups,
respite,
and
on‐going
education
about
child
development
and
 parenting.

Good
self‐care
practices
are
important,
too.

The
same
is
true
for
care
 providers.

Work
with
children
and
families
is
stressful.
 



 
attachment:
Gilgun


5


About
the
Author
 
 Jane
F.
Gilgun,
Ph.D.,
LICSW,
is
a
professor,
School
of
Social
Work,
University
 of
Minnesota,
Twin
Cities,
USA.

Her
books,
articles,
and
children’s
books
are
 available
on
Amazon
Kindle,
stores.lulu.com/jgilgun,
and
many
other
on‐line
 booksellers.
Her
latest
book
is
Shame,
Blame,
&
Child
Sexual
Abuse:
From
Harsh
 Realities
to
Hope.

She
also
has
many
videos
at
www.youtube.com/jgilgun


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