The child influences the caregiver and the caregiver influences the child. This is true not only for attachment, but for all aspects of development. During infant-caregiver interactions, children are learning about how an adult responds to them. They use this information to form expectations about how an adult will act in the future. 

Quality of care is a key factor in predicting attachment security. Children gain comfort and security from consistent and sensitive caregiving. High quality care helps children form secure attachments. Remember, all caregivers can be inconsistent and unresponsive at times. Yet most children will develop an attachment to their caregiver. Caregivers provide different amounts of care and children adapt their attachment behavior to match. Depending on the care, the attachment may be more or less secure.

Attachment security is just one part of a child’s development. A secure attachment does not guarantee later success. But it does increase a child’s chance of healthy outcomes. 

  • Interactional synchrony
    caregivers and infants respond to each other in a reciprocal and rhythmic manner