In order to look into the connection between a mother’s bond with her child during infancy and the child’s future romantic relationships, researchers from the University of Minnesota reviewed the data of 75 children born between 1976 and 1977. The researchers wanted to study if the degree of a mother’s attachment to her baby would create repercussions in the child’s adult relationships.
These 75 children were born from mothers who had received free prenatal care. When they were 12 and 18 months old, they were involved in a lab procedure called “Strange Situation”, wherein they were separated and then reunited with their mothers. This lab experiment was documented on videotape. These firstborn children were then interviewed at regular intervals and were made to answer questionnaires. The researchers even took note of their relationship with their best friends at age 16.
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Teachers, as well as the parents, were also made to give ratings and observations, until the children were 20 and 21 years old.
"We also found that if you were insecurely attached to your mother as a child, but had a really committed partner as an adult, that partner basically protected you from showing dysfunctional behavior in your relationship 20 years later," Simpson said. "It's not like you're destined to be insecure your entire life," giving hope for long-lasting romantic relationships.