Nurturing and Attachment
A child's early experience of being nurtured and developing a bond with a caring adult affects all aspects of behavior and development. When parents and children have strong, warm feelings for one another, children develop trust that their parents will provide what they need to thrive, including love, acceptance, positive guidance, and protection.
Research shows that babies who receive affection and nurturing from their parents have the best chance of healthy development. A child's relationship with a consistent, caring adult in the early years is associated later in life with better academic grades, healthier behaviors, more positive peer interactions, and an increased ability to cope with stress.
A Call to Action on Behalf of Maltreated Infants and Toddlers (PDF - 445 KB)
American Humane Association, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Child Welfare League of America, Children's Defense Fund, & ZERO TO THREE (2011)
Provides a starting point for Federal, State, and local policymakers and administrators to assess and identify where and how they can revise or institute policies that protect the development of infants and toddlers, and suggests key elements of a developmental approach for infants and toddlers in child welfare.
From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Child Development
National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (2000)
Reviews scientific research to identify generally accepted conclusions about the roles of nature and nurture during the first 5 years of life. Includes recommendations for policy, service delivery, and public awareness.
Attachment Parenting International (API)
The mission of API is to promote parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents through education, support, advocacy, and research.
Attachment: What Works? (PDF - 564 KB)
Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (2011)
Explains attachment and its importance, describes the characteristics of children with secure or insecure attachment relationships, notes cultural differences in attachment, and provides strategies teachers and caregivers can use to promote children's secure attachment.
Challenging Behavior in Young Children: Understanding, Preventing, and Responding Effectively
Kaiser & Rasminsky (2006, 2nd ed.)
This book presents information and strategies to assist teachers dealing with behavior problems in young children. Chapters 4 and 5 examine how brain development and function affect behavior, as well as the impact of relationships and attachments.
Enhancing Maternal Sensitivity to Infants and Young Children (PDF - 32 KB)
Florida State University Harris Institute for Infant Mental Health Training (2006)
Reviews research findings on strategies for enhancing mothers' sensitivity to the behavior and emotions of their infants and toddlers.
Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Futures: A Judge's Guide (PDF - 2785 KB)
ABA Center on Children and the Law, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, & ZERO TO THREE (2009)
Shares research on physical health, child development, attachment, infant mental health, and early care and education, and provides tools and strategies to help judges promote better outcomes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers who enter their courtrooms.
The Nurturing Parenting Programs and the Six Protective Factors: The Effectiveness of Theory, Research and Practice for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect (PDF - 1,475 KB)
Bavolek & Rogers (2012)
Describes the Nurturing Parenting Programs to help families who have come to the attention of social services for child abuse and neglect and program efforts to build six critical protective factors in families. Information on the history and development of the protective factors, statistics on the Nurturing Parenting Programs, the identification of abusive and neglectful parenting practices, and the development of the Nurturing Parenting Programs and assessment also are included.
Supporting Healthy Relationships Between Young Children and Their Parents: Lessons From Attachment Theory and Research (PDF - 200 KB)
Appleyard & Berlin (2007)
Explains the importance of secure attachment in infant-parent relationships, provides guidelines for supporting parents in forming secure attachments with their young children, and describes several attachment theory- and research-based curricula and programs.