The brain needs bonding and attachment to fully grow and learn. Uses the metaphor of a plant and asks: Does the sun grow the plant, or does the plant wait to grow fully until the sun is present? Neurology teaches that without the sun (bonding and attachment) the brain does not grow well. (Gurian, Michael, PhD, and Patricia Henley, with Terry Trueman. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! CA: Jossey-Bass, 2001, p 75)

When an infant is deprived of early sensitive nurturing (e.g., especially first 2 years of life) the results can be devastating to both emotional and cognitive development (little girls withdraw and boys become violent in an effort to reengage their mothers). Attachment classifications as measured at 12-18 months tend to be predictive of the children’s success in school. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997, pp 194-206)

Studies of reactions to laboratory testing in a procedure known as the Strange Situation: the infant is classified as having a secure, avoidant, or anxious / ambivalent working model of attachment. A fourth attachment style has recently been identified called “disorganized.” (Wilson, Timothy D. Strangers to Ourselves. England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002, pp 79-80)

Portions of brain maturation are directly influenced by attachment relationships. Early experiences with an emotionally unresponsive or abusive caregiver can inhibit maturation; and can lead to a lifelong limited ability, especially under stress, to regulate the intensity, frequency, and duration of primitive negative states such as rage, terror, and shame. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997, p 38)