The Neuroscience of Attachment Styles

Pernille Bülow

Affiliation: PernilleBülow (Private Enterprise), Boston, United States of America

Keywords: Attachment Style, Relationships, Mental Health, Emotional Regulation, Brain Development, Neuroscience

Categories: News and Views, Life Sciences, Medicine

DOI: 10.17160/josha.10.3.883

Languages: English

The type of attachment style formed in infancy with primary caregivers is a strong predictor of mental wellbeing in later life, influencing how individuals develop relationships, trust, self-confidence and emotional regulation. While other factors contribute to the risk of mental health and psychopathology, attachment styles provide a reliable understanding of individual development and help to target interventions to specific needs. Parental attachment style is a strong predictor of infant attachment style and reproduces behaviours that reinforce attachment style. Insecure attachment styles can lead to a vicious cycle of poor mental wellbeing. Longitudinal studies report a higher likelihood of depression and self-harm in adolescence for those with insecure attachment in childhood. This newsletter explores the science of attachment styles, their impact on brain development and function, and their implications for mental health. Although future newsletters will explore the topic in more depth, the article focuses on the relationship between attachment style and the brain. The research does not define individuals, but highlights correlations between experiences and behaviours. Individuals can consciously change their future by better understanding their past and investing in themselves. This article was first published in Subkiton on October 01, 2022 (

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