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.
Attachment Behaviors In Children With Incarcerated Fathers [Podcast]
Discusses the influence visitations have on the attachment behaviors of children between their incarcerated fathers and interim caregivers.
Essentials for Childhood: Creating Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments for All Children (PDF - 24,945 KB)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Violence Prevention (2019)
Describes a framework to guide community activities to help build safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for children and families. The guide outlines four main goals: to raise awareness and commitment to promoting safe, stable, and nurturing relationships; to use data to inform actions; to create the context for healthy children through norms change and program creation; and to create the context for healthy children through policy change.
Family Strengthening Research (PDF - 1,598 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, and Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) (2014)
Provides Federal and State policymakers, program administrators, and researchers with summaries of OPRE's Division of Family Strengthening's major research investments in fiscal year 2013 and overviews of past projects that include strengthening relationships within families, supporting fatherhood, nurturing children through their families, reducing teen pregnancy, and supporting youth in their transition to adulthood.
How to Raise a Securely Attached Child
Discusses how to build a secure attachment style with a child and reviews tips for raising a securely attached child.
Nurturing Infants to Prevent Attachment Disorder
Attachment Disorder Network
Describes attachment disorder and provides tips for parents on how to nurture children in healthy way to prevent attachment disorder.
Responsive Care: Nurturing a Strong Attachment Through Everyday Moments
ZERO TO THREE (2016)
Showcases a video on responsive care, the process of watching and tuning into a child's cues and responding in a sensitive way in order to nurture and build attachment with the child.
Strengthening Families: Nurturing and Attachment (PDF - 517 KB)
Diehl, Wente, & Forthun (2015)
University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Reviews the importance of nurturing and attachment for infants and children and provides tips for parents on how to increase nurturing and attachment with a child. The brief also provides links to additional resources on nurturing and attachment.