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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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It is no secret to social scientists; humans are relational and forming attachments is critical as humans mature and develop. Attachments are usually formed in the first seven months and are only formed to a few persons. Attachment is defined as the trust formed with another person and can provide a secure base with that other person. A secure base is defined as an attachment figure from where one can safely explore and return to for comfort and connection. This idea is central and critical to attachment theory. Through healthy attachments, healthy and sustainable families build better bonds that are not easily broken through crises.

Attachments with others function from working models which are meanings or sets of beliefs of how we see ourselves and others. The baseline of attachment theories stem from what is termed a secure base for children. The notion of a secure base is important because children need to know that when they need it, there will be someone, usually a parent that will be there for them to express their feelings and for those feelings to be met with love and acceptance. Other needs of the child that the secure base should meet are security, comfort, companionship and trust. When children feel that they do not have a secure base and those feelings of comfort, security and acceptance are rejected, insecure attachments form. Attachment theory adds to the weight of resilience theory by clearly outlining the significance of relationships as the key to most aspects of resilience.

This qualitative case study was designed to explore indicators of resilience that support attachment between a child and their parent(s). The main question guiding this research focused on what indicators of resilience in a family unit allow healthy attachments to thrive. Beginning in mid-February 2014, one family was studied over a period of three observation/interview sessions. Each meeting consisted of observation followed by an interview. This increased knowledge of what elements the particular family uses to build and maintain healthy attachments with one another.

Some themes that emerged included communication during times of crisis, how families use religious practices to aid in times of crisis and resilience patterns that this family developed. Two conclusions emerged. The first is a high need for communication during times of crisis: the more that the family communicates with one another, the better resilience they have for the next crisis that comes up. The second is that consistency of religious practices helps the navigation of crisis. All of these factors play a crucial role in how families develop resilience during hard times and the bonds that form from them.