Causes of insecure attachment

Major causes of insecure attachments include:

Physical neglect – poor nutrition, insufficient exercise, and neglect of medical issues

Emotional neglect or emotional abuse – little attention paid to child, little or no effort to understand child’s feelings; verbal abuse

Physical or sexual abuse – physical injury or violation

Separation from primary caregiver – due to illness, death, divorce, adoption

Inconsistency in primary caregiver – succession of nannies or staff at daycare centers

Frequent moves or placements – constantly changing environment; for example: children who spend their early years in orphanages or who move from foster home to foster home

Traumatic experiences – serious illnesses or accidents

Maternal depression – withdrawal from maternal role due to isolation, lack of social support, hormonal problems

Maternal addiction to alcohol or other drugs – maternal responsiveness reduced by mind-altering substances

Young or inexperienced mother – lacks parenting skills