Through several papers, numerous research studies, and theories that were discarded, altered, or combined, Bowlby and Ainsworth developed and provided evidence for attachment theory.
The question posed above is tongue-in-cheek, but it touches upon an important discussion in psychology—what influences children to turn out the way they do?
What affects their ability to form meaningful, satisfying relationships with those around them?
Bowlby hypothesized that the extreme behaviors infants engage in to avoid separation from a parent or when reconnecting with a physically separated parent—like crying, screaming, and clinging—were evolutionary mechanisms.
Bowlby thought these behaviors had possibly been reinforced through natural selection and enhanced the child’s chances of survival.
There were several groundbreaking studies that contributed to the development of attachment theory or provided evidence for its validity, including the study described earlier in which infants were separated from their primary caregivers and their behavior was observed to fall into a “style” of attachment.
Further findings on emotional attachment came from a surprising place: rhesus monkeys.
In addition, there are many other important people in a child’s life who influence him or her.
There are siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, godparents, close family friends, nannies, daycare workers, teachers, peers, and others who interact with a child on a regular basis.
It’s clear now that not every issue can be traced back to one’s mother.
After all, there is another person involved in the raising (or at least the creation) of a child.