Exploring the impact of maternal attachment on the emotional and social development of boys, Dr. Smith uses Attachment Theory to elucidate and integrate aspects of the mother-son relationship from birth through adolescence. An overview of Attachment Theory is followed by several perspectives on male development.
Building upon the concept that this primary attachment is one of life’s most significant relationships, exploration of the mother-child relationship gives particular attention to its specific impact on male children and their emotional development. The issue of nature and nurture is addressed, as is the complex topic of boys and vulnerable emotions, with particular emphasis on guilt, humiliation, and shame; anxiety and depression; and anger and rage.
Implications for clinical treatment of attachment difficulties are summarized, as well as implications for mothers and their adult sons.