Within the last 30 years, students of human psychologic dvelopment have come to describe the bond between parents and children as "attachment".
Despite the appearance of the term as having an obvious meaning, the students of interactions between parent and child mean something specific, rather than what we might, in a general way, see as a random judgment as to how close emotionally the parent and child are.
The students of attachment, instead mean something quite specific - they postulate a normative interaction between mother and newborn that is set forward as an a priori goal, and then, in an observational setting, the deficit relative to that goal is defined as a diminishment of "attachment". One might argue that with a single parameter, the student of "attachment" hopes to explain at least some of the panoply of human ailments.
The difficulty sets in, however, that despite one's reasonable assumption that "attachment" is a parameter that reflects a panoply of antecedent conditions, the students of the parameter (or quantifiable observation) do not seem to have much notion of what determines the value that they are studying.
One might simply argue that any disturbance in the relationship between mother and infant reflects a problem in the mother's emotional setting (such as environment, or personal history). One might also argue, more specifically, that a mother who has no training (formal or informal) in caring for an infant might indeed struggle with "attachment".
Nevertheless, the study of "attachment" has real value, in that it encourages us to look at human interaction as the basis for our prognostics and treatment approaches.Typical citation on attachment theory
One peculiarity of working with a unitary hypothesis (a theory of everything based on a single parameter) is that one can easily find similar "causative" agents.
Here is a citation of a finding a smilar "causation" but instad, based on income levels (or, if you please, many other paramters, such as years of education of parents, or proximity to the beach, or married vs. single families, etc. etc.).
This abundantly displays the difficulty of using statistical correlations as evidence that one has discoverd causation, without any application of a scientifc method. Any given parameter might be found in correlation, but without a specific hypothesis of causation that is in some way exclusive of other modes of causation, a correlation does not provide sufficient evidence of causation (and other criteria must be met as well, see links to The Scientifc Method in Psychiatry).
Income as a Cause of the "Obesity gap":LA Times article