The idea of an internal working model provides a way of thinking about how the quality of external relationships gradually becomes part of the child’s mental inside to form his or her psychological self. As attachment relationships become psychologically internalized, the quality of a child’s social experiences becomes a mental property of that child. In turn, the mental inside influences the child’s view of the self and others. The concept of the internal working model explains why close relationships matter, and how their qualities influence psychological experience, cognitive modelling, interpersonal behaviour and relationship styles.
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