Our parents screwed us up as babies

That’s what psychiatrist John Bowlby thought. Now an online tool will reveal your ‘attachment type’

In December 1939, two months into the war, a young child psychiatrist and two colleagues published an urgent letter in the British Medical Journal. The letter warned that the “evacuation of small children without their mothers can lead to very serious and widespread psychological disorder. For instance it can lead to a big increase in juvenile delinquency in the next decade.”

The lead signatory was an upper class Englishman called John Bowlby, and the letter was a foretaste of what was to become known as "attachment theory" - put crudely, the idea that the experience of an early secure attachment to a parent (almost always the mother) was the foundation for a healthy mental life.

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