From the Publisher
At last! Newton’s Attachment Connection takes attachment and neuroscience into the mainstream of parenting and clinical practice, bringing clarity and insight to the often misunderstood world of family bonds. Using a sensitive combination of informative vignettes, lucid explanations, and developmental milestones, she deftly illuminates the nature of the bond that develops between parents and their babies and the profound influence which this bond will have on a baby’s ability to form secure attachments. As a therapist and academic, Newton’s comprehensive knowledge of the socio-emotional development of children shines through with intelligence, passion, humor, and sensitivity.
—Sir Richard Bowlby Bt., president of the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, UK
Drawing on the latest scientific research and her extensive clinical experience, Newton has written a practical guide for parents who seek to foster an attachment bond with their young children (infants through three years of age). Since a secure attachment forms the foundation for children’s later social and emotional development, this is must read book for parents.
—Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, professor of psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ, and cofounder and director emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy
"[Ruth Newton] has written a valuable book..."
Newton, a clinical psychologist specializing in affect regulation, has written a valuable book explaining the latest research on the brain's right hemisphere and how its proper neurobiological development is dependent upon the relationship between infant and primary caregiver. In other words, Newton tackles attachment theory. The text is sometimes dense (this is brain research, after all), but Newton succeeds in summarizing her subject, followed by brain regulation 101, then applies the research from pregnancy through age five. She explains how the brain's right hemisphere develops before the left, step by step, one area laying tracks for the next. The right biochemical mix is needed to create a secure base from which blossoms attention, learning, and exploration. This base is created by enhancing positive emotions and regulating negative states, ideally through one primary caregiver (read: mother, who is pressured a little to play nicely, stick to a schedule, and avoid freaking out). It is only when there is chronic misattunement without repair that a child is at risk. Newton does not lay on the guilt but argues for greater societal understanding of the importance of this developmental period in infancy and for increased support for parents raising young children. Much of this attunement we do automatically (e.g., cooing, carrying baby on the left hip), and we are reminded-yet again-to forget the flash cards. Instead, try giggling while you blow a raspberry on baby's belly. It's likely to do baby's brain-and future-a lot more good. A crucial acquisition for academic libraries and highly recommended for all others.
Julianne J. Smith