Jeffrey Dahmer, Edgar Allen Poe, Adolph Hitler, Ted Bundy, Saddam Hussein, and Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) may all have one thing in common; they did not get assistance in healing from childhood attachment issues (Thomas, 2000). None of these men was able to develop a healthy self-identity when it came to connecting intimately with others. Thus, living much of their adult life with a pseudo identity and being extremely vulnerable to others when it came to emotionally connecting with another sexually. This paper will explore the correlation between the self-identity as it is developed and attachment deficiencies as the adult maneuvered through the process of developing intimate adult relationships without violence. Schnarch explores the discrepancy between an individual with a "good image" with that of little "identity" (1991)
Attachment refers to the feelings that a child has toward their caregiver that are established very early in the developmental years.
Attachment behaviors are observed in all cultures; they are even noted in the wild animal kingdom. These behaviors allow one to grow close in proximity to one another (Hayes, 1997). Research has shown that stage one of Erikson's Psychosexual Theory, "trust versus mistrust" is the very place that attachment is developed (Sigelman, 1999). During this period, the infant is very dependent on others for all of its needs. If a mother does not provide for the child's emotional requirements during this time of need a lack of trust may develop which can initiate the triggering of long-term attachment and trust problems in relationships.