Every parent I know worries about the impact of early childhood on adulthood. For this reason, they strive to set up healthy eating habits, confidence and much more. After further studies and some years, Mary Main, researcher at the University of California in Berkeley, states that we are near a position where we will be able to map the individual differences in early childhood experiences and the effect on the brain and development. Moreover physiological regulators and the investigation of their association with the caregiver infant interaction points to implications being far reaching.

Studies have shown that an infant who has seen or experienced trauma and doesn’t have support in place to recover will see a negative impact on their development as well as performance in school. It has also been shown that with proper support and instruction, better coping mechanisms can be instilled so children can learn to move forward in a positive capacity.

Stable attachment bonds serve a critically important role in the neurobiological development of an infant. Without solid attachment bonds, a child will learn coping mechanisms that are unhealthy and will go on to influence their mental health as an adult. The quality of attachment to the primary caregivers is so important at this time that it will determine how the individual seeks out relationships later in life.

In negative scenarios, a caregiver who is abusive will also play less with the infant and be less inclined to protect the infant from other stressful or abusive instances. When reacting to the infant’s emotional expressions, they will do so inappropriately or unpredictably, causing further trauma from rejection. In the end, the caregiver doesn’t help the child moderate their emotions but instead creates more stress and trauma by extreme neglect or abuse. This induces the child to have longer periods of stress, which can lead to alterations in the brain’s biochemistry. This can be long-lasting and affect the child’s continued emotional development.

Based on these studies, in order to provide properly for a child, it is essential to realize their basic needs include food, shelter, and nurturing care in order to develop into high-functioning adults without long lasting mental health trouble.

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