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Attachment and Temperament

Attachment and Temperament

Helen’s Temperament and Sensitivity of Her Caregivers

Based on the circumstances given, Helen’s disposition seems to tend toward being an “easy” baby. She exhibits adaptability and happiness because she copes with changes well and sleeps through the night at a young age. She cries to convey her wants but tends to relax quickly when those needs are addressed. These traits point to a generally upbeat temperament that helps her communicate with others and the outside environment.

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There are apparent disparities among the carers in their sensitivity to Helen’s requirements. Due to her full-time job and potential exhaustion, Helen’s mother might need to be wise to Helen’s indications. Ignoring some of Helen’s cries, especially when she cries quickly after another, could mean that you don’t understand or don’t comprehend her demands. However, Helen’s father plays with her despite working long hours, suggesting he is somewhat sensitive to her social and emotional needs. Helen is actively played with, comforted by, and cared for by her aunt during the day. This suggests that she is extremely sensitive to and receptive to Helen’s needs.

Helen’s Caregivers’ Attachment Histories

According to research, the caregivers’ attachment experiences can significantly impact how they engage with their kids, like Helen. Infants are more likely to get sensitive and responsive care from caregivers with a secure attachment history (Heward-Belle & Tsantefski, 2023). They can precisely identify and decipher their child’s indications, comprehend their emotional requirements, and offer support and consolation. However, delivering consistent and attentive care may be challenging for caregivers with a history of insecure attachment. For instance, if Helen’s mother had an ambivalent or avoidant attachment style, she could find it challenging to recognize Helen’s needs and consistently respond, resulting in a less secure relationship. Similarly, his attachment history may influence Helen’s father’s limited involvement in caregiving, impacting his ability to provide consistent support. Therefore, the attachment histories of caregivers can shape their interactions with infants, influencing the development of attachment styles.

Helen’s Temperament Influences

According to the facts given, Helen may have a secure attachment style. The easygoing and adaptable nature of Helen’s temperament lays a solid basis for developing strong bonds. Her aptitude for forming secure and dependable connections is suggested by her ability to easily adapt to changes and settle down quickly after her requirements are addressed. Her contact with her aunt, who understands her needs and is receptive to them, further increases the likelihood that she will form a solid bond. Helen’s general disposition and the availability of a caregiver who gives comfort and engagement boost the likelihood of a secure attachment style, even though Helen’s mother’s patchy response and her father’s limited involvement in caregiving may present some problems.

Factors that Influence the Development of Attachment Styles

The temperament of the newborn and the sensitivity of their carers are two aspects that impact the development of attachment styles. Temperament, which includes personal traits including adaptability, emotional reactivity, and self-regulation, lays the groundwork for attachment patterns (Obeldobel et al., 2022). A baby like Helen is more likely to develop strong attachments because of their upbeat and adaptable personalities, which promote pleasant interactions with caregivers. However, caregiver sensitivity and responsiveness are critical in determining attachment types. A safe foundation is created for the newborn by caregivers who are continuously attentive, receptive, and emotionally present (Miller, 2022). While Helen’s mother’s intermittent response and her father’s limited involvement may present some possible obstacles, her aunt’s sensitive care and involvement in play are likely to help the possibility of a secure attachment. The interaction between temperament and caregiver sensitivity ultimately influences the attachment pattern that emerges in a baby.


Heward-Belle, S., & Tsantefski, M. (2023). Working with Families Experiencing Vulnerability: A Partnership Approach. In Google Books. Cambridge University Press.

Miller, E. A. (2022). The Attachment Versus Differentiation Debate: Bringing the Conversation to Parent-Child Relationships. Family Process.

Obeldobel, C. A., Brumariu, L. E., & Kerns, K. A. (2022). Parent-Child Attachment and Dynamic Emotion Regulation: A Systematic Review. Emotion Review, 175407392211368.


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Attachment and Temperament

Attachment and Temperament

What does an infant need in addition to food and physical care? Early relationships with caregivers are also extremely important. If an infant does not form a secure attachment, how might that affect their development in infancy and later in life? How can caregivers respond in a way that promotes a secure attachment? How may an infant’s natural response to the world (temperament) influence how a primary caregiver responds to their needs?

Think about the following scenario:

Helen was born of average size and weight. Helen was an easy baby. She cried when she was hungry or cold or needed some attention but slept through the night by the time she was 4 months old. She adapted to change easily. Her mother worked full-time. Helen’s father worked long hours, and when he was home, he was too tired to help with Helen’s feeding, diapering, and nighttime needs. Helen’s mother fed her regularly but did not think that when Helen cried after only 2 hours she could possibly be hungry again, so she ignored some of Helen’s cries. As Helen got older, her father began to spend more time with her—mainly in play. Helen’s mother rarely played with her. During the day when Helen’s mother worked, Helen was taken care of by her aunt. Her aunt spent a lot of time playing with, singing to, and rocking Helen when she needed to be comforted.

In this assignment, you will analyze Helen’s temperament, as well as the sensitivities and histories of her caregivers. You will also predict Helen’s attachment style and consider what factors influence the development of attachment styles.

To prepare:

Review Chapter 6, “Cognitive Development in Infancy,” and Chapter 7, “Social and Personality Development in Infancy.”
Review the article, “Introduction to the Special Section on Attachment Theory and Psychotherapy.”
Review the interactive media about “Attachment.”
Think about Helen’s experience (scenario from the Assignment introduction) and what you can discern about her temperament.
Consider how each of the caregivers in Helen’s life demonstrated their love. Think about how responsive the caregivers were to her needs.
Consider the possible attachment style (secure, avoidant, ambivalent, or disorganized-disoriented) that may have resulted from a combination of Helen’s temperament and the sensitivity of the caregiving.
The Assignment (2–3 pages):

Provide an analysis of both Helen’s temperament and the sensitivity of her caregivers.
Explain what the research suggests about how Helen’s caregivers’ own attachment histories may influence how they interact with her.
Predict Helen’s attachment style. Be sure to explain how Helen’s temperament influences her attachment style and support your prediction.
Provide clear justification for your conclusions regarding the factors that influence the development of attachment styles.
Note: Support the responses within your Assignment with evidence from the course Learning Resources. Provide a Reference List of the resources you used for this assignment. The title page and Reference List do not count toward the 2- to 3-page paper length. Use APA style for in-text citations and references.

Course Textbook

Feldman, R. S. (2022). Child development (9th ed.). Pearson.

Chapter 6, “Cognitive Development in Infancy”
In this chapter, you will learn about Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Piaget’s theory, with later research and cognitive development that occurs in the sensorimotor stage, will be highlighted. The foundational processes of children’s growth in language development and differentiating theories of language development will also be discussed.

Chapter 7, “Social and Personality Development in Infancy”
In this chapter, you will explore how infants develop unique personalities; experience and decode emotions; and develop a sense of who they are. You will also learn about how infants use others’ emotions to interpret social situations and the causes of separation anxiety. Attachment in infancy and how attachment affects social competence are also explored.

Davila, J., & Levy, K. N. (2006). Introduction to the special section on attachment theory and psychotherapy. Links to an external site. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74(6), 989–993.

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