Corrado Zaccagnini, Giulio Cesare Zavattini

Parenting as a "developmental process". Reflections in the perspective of the Attachment Theory

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Parenting, intersubjectivity, interpersonal interactions, reflective functioning, attachment.

Our purpose in writing this paper was to deepen our understanding of the nature of the parenting function as a process. We revisited the theoretical roots of the "attachment theory" connecting such roots with the latest theoretical considerations and empirical research. What emerges strengthened is the opinion that "parenting" does not coincide with "parenthood", i.e. it is not a predetermined status and certainly not a simple role, on the contrary it is a multidetermined, evolutionary and open process, where the most important developing function of the attachment to the caregiver is the building up of a representational system allowing a "world vision" efficaciously adaptive. The survey emphasizes the intersubjective dimension of the joint construction of the interactions and representations which take shape among the partners of the relationship in the reciprocal exercise of self and interactive regulation. This is done evidencing also the differentiations due to the various theoretical positions. From our re-readings and reflections, we feel confirmed in the opinion that this theoretical perspective has an explanatory meaning and importance also in complex relationships starting from the triadic one i.e. the relationship where the child interacts with his parents, to understand which is necessary to go beyond the simple mastering of the relation in the dyadic modules into which the study of this kind of relationship could be erroneously reduced and broken up.

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