Infant Bonding and Attachment to the Caregiver: Insights from Basic and Clinical Science

Regina Sullivan, Rosemarie Perry, Aliza Sloan, Karine Kleinhaus, Nina Burtchen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

51 Scopus citations


Early life infant-caregiver attachment is a dynamic, bidirectional process that involving both the infant and caregiver. Infant attachment appears to have a dual function. First, it ensures the infant remains close to the caregiver in order to receive necessary care for survival. Second, the quality of attachment and its associated sensory stimuli organize the brain to define the infant's cognitive and emotional development. Here we present attachment within an historical view and highlight the importance of integrating human and animal research in understanding infant care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-655
Number of pages13
JournalClinics in Perinatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011



  • Attachment
  • Odor
  • Premature infants
  • Sensitive period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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