Missing of Attachment

In Skin Hunger we learn about Laura’s medical journey. It has to do with not having the chance to grow a mother and daughter bond to form attachment. Virginia is mentioned as the mother who grew up in various foster care systems constantly on the move during her childhood. In Skin Hunger it mentions how “Mother and daughter are not interacting.” (pg 82)  Having no experience with anyone on attachment to anyone which means Virginia had no idea on how to love a child from her little experience she has had. Meaning in Development Through Life mentions “a variety of behaviors to influence the behavior of their parents and other objects of attachment in order to satisfy their own needs for closeness” (pg 153) For a parent to know what is wrong with their child the parent needs to understand their child. This is something mentioned in Skin Hunger that Virginia does not know with Laura. Towards the end of Skin Hunger Virginia and Laura have moved in with Mama P who has many experiences with children who come from abusive parents. Mama P knows how to deal with children who seek affection. As both lived with Mama P there is a change in Laura weight and shows affection and nurturement. Which is picked up from Virginia bring me back to my point on the Virginia now being able to detect on when her daughter is need of something a year later from living with Mama P.

Attachment for Human Development

Skin Hunger shows how a severe lack of emotional/physical nurturing in early childhood can lead to detrimental effects on growth. We follow Laura, a 4-year-old girl who cannot seem to gain weight, and her mother Virginia, warmhearted, but does not know how to show proper affection. Attachment plays a key role in this article and shows that portions of our brains inhibit growth hormones from being developed if not granted attachment. In this case, Laura needed attachment to create a positive emotional bond with her mother. Readers note how Virginia missed out on the sensitive period. Development Through Life describes it as a “time of utmost readiness for the development of certain skills or behavior patterns” (152). Attachment is something that should have been strived for at this time and once this period has passed, neglect-related deficit may be something that is only left. Furthermore, Skin Hunger writes “Children who don’t get consistent, physical affection…don’t receive the patterned, repetitive stimulation necessary to properly build the system… that connects… human-to-human interaction (4). This ties in with the case of Virginia and her actions since she was deprived of this early on in her life. Since she was not able to form any attachments growing up, this now led to her not receiving any pleasure from any interaction she had with her baby. For instance, not rocking or singing to Laura early on as well as not holding Laura for long periods of time.

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