Article Critique: Psychobiological Roots of Early Attachment

The author in this article attempted to answer three questions pertinent to the attachment theory. They are what creates an attachment bond; why is early maternal separation stressful and how can early relationships have lasting effects?  Myron A. Hofer (2006) began by ascribing to the assumption ‘Attachment remains useful as a concept that, like hunger, describes the operation of subprocesses that work together within the frame of a vital biological function’ (Hofer, 2006, p. 84). Key words used to relate this theoretical assumption were attachment; separation; bond; maternal behavior, early experience and learning (Hofer, 2006).

In answering what create attachment the author explained that it is a process, which can be created prenatally. Significantly, it is a bound between mother and infant developed though responses to maternal scents and sounds. In responding to why maternal separation is stressful the author attributed this to an affective domain detachment. Precisely, it has been conceptualized as the ‘biphasic protest–despair response.’ Importantly, the initial reaction to separation is forging a reunion. When this is not achieved a decline occurs, which can create psychological disturbances in the child (Hofer, 2006).

The effects of early bounding termination are detrimental to people, especially, when they achieve adolescents, according to the study. Therefore, measures to promote sustenance of this bounding relationship ought to be embraced. Some effects were perceived as hypertensive states in mothers and dysfunctional behaviors in adolescent youths.

This study was very scientific in its approach to answering the questions based on the assumption advanced. Questions one and two were clearly interpreted and explanations verified. However, the way in which the answers to question three was presented it seemed difficult for the reader to gather the specific effects of early maternal relationships. Discussions on not so positive aspects were projected rather than purely positive.


Hofer, M. (2006). Psychobiological Roots of Early Attachment. Current Directions in

       Psychology Science, 15(2), 83-88