Family Law Act 1975 ( Cth ) : Family Violence And Attachment Essay
The concept of attachment is a paramount aspect of parent–child interaction. It plays a significant role in determining the best interests of children of separation and divorce. This essay will critically analyse the social sciences and debates on the attachment theory and overnight care of young children where violence is present and whether the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) appropriately addresses the issues when applied.
Attachment Theory and Development
‘Attachment theory is a concept that concerns itself with a child’s early relationships and how it affects their development and capacity for form later relationships.’ Attachment was originally defined in the 1940s by British psychiatrist, John Bowlby. Bowlby described ‘attachment bond’ as a “‘warm, intimate and continuous relationship with a mother’ or a long-term mother figure in which both find ‘satisfaction and enjoyment’”.
The timeframe in which young children can be damaged by poor attachment is relatively short. Multiple studies show that infants prefer proximity to one parent or the other at different ages of their lives depending on different needs and experiences at the time, particularly in their first 18 months.
Researchers, McIntosh and Chisholm stated that “the development of a child’s attachment to a parent (or caregiver) is ‘vital’ to their emotional health in the longer term.” Secondly, they argued that, “in order to create a secure…