The Child and Its Family: The Social Network ModelLewis M.
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, N.J., USA
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The classical attachment theory holds to the notion of a monotropic model. Such a model leads to a view of the mother as first and most important figure in an infant’s life. A polytropic view of attachment moves us toward a model of simultaneous and multiple attachment figures. In particular, it is argued that peer attachment is a separate but related system. A review of children’s peer relationships, including siblings, leads to the consideration of a social network model in which a variety of different people satisfy a variety of different needs of the child.
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