Meaning of Attachment

In order to know the meaning of the term attachment, it is interesting to discover, first of all, its etymological origin. In this case, it can be said that it is a word derived from Latin and that it is the fruit of the sum of two different parts:
-The prefix “ad-“, which can be translated as “towards”.
-The verb “picare”, which is synonymous with “paste” or “unite”.

The concept of attachment is used to name the affection, devotion or esteem that is felt or evidenced towards a person or a thing. It is an idea that has been approached by psychology, philosophy and religion.

For psychologists, attachment is an emotional bond that extends over time and is intense. The closeness with the other person offers shelter and security: for this reason an individual, when he feels threatened or anguished, tends to look for the subject for whom he has an attachment.

It is important to mention that, beyond the feeling, the attachment can be observed through the adopted behavior. A child with an attachment to his mother will be with her at all times and will seek her embrace.

The bond of attachment between a son and his parents, in fact, leads to the little one feeling anguish when he physically separates himself from his parents. That is why it is common for him to cry when being in the care of another person.

The so-called attachment theory is responsible for analyzing the dynamics of these links between human beings. Experts say that for babies, forging an attachment relationship with their parents or caregivers is essential for their subsequent emotional and social development. Under this precept, attachment parenting emerged, a trend that promotes the establishment of a strong bond of attachment between children and their parents so that children develop an independent and secure personality.

It must be established that the first psychologist to talk about attachment as such was John Bowlby, who established two different types of it:
-The secure attachment, which is characterized because parents maintain expressions and actions of affection at all times, on many occasions as a way to meet the demands of children.
-The insecure attachment. This is the one that takes place when there are deficiencies on the part of the parents regarding the care of their children. Within this type of attachment, three variants can be found: the ambivalent, in which the child has a bad concept of himself and good of others; the avoidant, in which the minor trusts in himself but not in the rest; and the disorganized. The latter is characterized by the fact that the little one has a bad opinion of both himself and others.

Among the main causes that can cause a lack of attachment of the minor to children and vice versa are some like these:
-The more or less long family separations.
-The vital experiences that parents live at a certain time.
-The difficult character of adults or minors.

For Buddhists, attachment (known by the Sanskrit term upadana) and desire (trisna) are the causes of suffering: in order to reach the state of fullness called nirvana, it is necessary not to cling to anything.