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Essentials when studying child-father attachment: A fundamental view on safe haven and secure base phenomena

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The most relevant functions of an attachment figure for a child from evolutionary, cultural, and individual perspectives are being a safe haven and secure base for the child. The concepts of behavioral systems and emotional security are delineated. Central to a child’s emotional security is her smooth transition between seeking a safe haven when distressed and a secure base when at ease with her attachment figures. The special quality of the child-father attachment relationship is marked by an emphasis on supporting the child’s exploration and her emotional intensity during agitated play. Systematic analysis of child-father attachment requires careful, realistic, and lengthy natural, ethological observations of behaviors that indicate the child’s attachment to father. Such observations would result in a fuller understanding of the infants’ or children’s contribution to their development of psychological security.
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Keywords: behavioral systems; child-father attachment; desiderata for future research on child-father attachment; save haven function; secure base function

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Psychology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany

Publication date: January 2, 2020

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