Affect and attachment: Kissing, hugging, and patting as attachment behaviors

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Abstract

In this study, the role of affect in attachment was reconsidered, and the relation between kissing, hugging, and patting behavior and attachment in infancy was explored. Ninety‐six male infants, aged 2, 4, 7, and 11 months in middle‐ and lower‐class populations in city, kibbutz, Bedouin, and institutional settings, were observed in their natural surroundings for the equivalent of a complete waking day. The affectionate responses first appeared at 7 months. Only in institutions did none of these responses appear at either 7 or 11 months. Most of the affectionate responses were directed to the mother and were emitted in pleasant, relaxed, playful situations. Infants' kissing, hugging, and patting were responded to by the recipient in 60% of the instances by an equivalent response, a vocal response, or by a combination of the two. The implications of these findings for the study of attachment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989

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