Born to Bond
Born to Bond is an outreach effort focused on all critical human developmental stages.
Our message? We are Born to Bond!
Maine Legislative Watch Dogs, in collaboration with MOMS, is working to raise community awareness surrounding the importance of attachment and bonding, not only in early life, but across the human lifespan.
Science has long known bonding begins immediately and remains the underpinning to both healthy attachment and overall health in all life stages.
Bonding progresses across the human spectrum from infancy, through childhood, teen years, early adulthood, adulthood and finally to the elderly years. Bonding starts between mother and child expanding ever outward to: father and child, to siblings, to other children, to peers, to caring adults, to other adults and finally back to the adult bonding with and nurturing their own child.
What happens beyond the early years?
Science also shows that disrupted social connections in adolescences impacts brain development. A study carried out in 2019 explored what would happen to adolescents mice who were in cages stocked with food, water and entertainment, but no other mice.
"The researchers wanted to know if social isolation caused biases in decision-making later in life, and they found that it did. Mice that had been isolated were more likely than normally socialized mice to rely on habit. Habit-based behaviors (like smoking or eating donuts in front of the television) can lead to addiction, and both humans and animals who have suffered early adversity have been shown to be prone to habit-based behaviors."
What happens when the ability to bond in any human stage of life is disrupted?
Studies have shown disrupted social connections and isolation in the elderly leads to very poor health outcome: "Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death." Social isolation, loneliness in older people pose health risks | National Institute on Aging (nih.gov)