The attachment before age 6
From the Mental Health Foundation Report “Better Mental Health For All – A public health approach to mental health improvement” from 2016 it is very clear that the attachment to the parents is crucial:
“Families and parenting go on being important throughout childhood, but from the age of four or five other factors start to become important.
By the time they reach school age, one in ten children aged between five and sixteen years has a mental health problem that warrants support and treatment. The primary predictor of such problems is the quality of the parent child relationship and parenting more broadly, as discussed above. Most children spend a high proportion of their waking lives in schools and this is an age where schools also matter for mental health and wellbeing. The school ethos, mental wellbeing of teachers, relationships with peers and prevalence of bullying all matter.
There are a proportion of children outside of the school system, or with disrupted experiences of education, whose experiences may lead to poor mental health and so warrant attention. Young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) are more likely to report higher anxiety than other young people.”
Bilingual people = “multiple personality”?
Beyond the many personal anecdotes reported by bilingual, which seem to come in support of this thesis, relatively recent research also add her some scientific credit. I saw first time this in the Neuropsychology Magazine John Libbey: http://www.jle.com/fr/revues/nrp/e-docs/le_bilinguisme_au_dela_du_langage_la_these_de_la_double_personnalite_302593/article.phtml After recalling certain features of the bilingual brain, we review data suggesting that the first (L1) or second (L2) language of a bilingual determine, depending on usage and context of self-perceptions, cultural attitudes, emotional reactions, social stereotypes, decision making and different moral judgments. Bilingualism therefore goes well beyond the sole domain of language or communication, integrating cultural and individual factors – including emotional – and modulating the individual and his behavior in a wide register. The extent of the intra-individual variability remains to be determined, as well as its social implications, and clinical neuroscientists.
I now retrieve the same conclusion in the Two Languages Two Minds article in the Psychological Science Journal: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/26/4/518. “Here, we show that fluent German-English bilinguals categorize motion events according to the grammatical constraints of the language in which they operate. First, as predicted from cross-linguistic differences in motion encoding, bilingual participants functioning in a German testing context prefer to match events on the basis of motion completion to a greater extent than do bilingual participants in an English context. Second, when bilingual participants experience verbal interference in English, their categorization behavior is congruent with that predicted for German; when bilingual participants experience verbal interference in German, their categorization becomes congruent with that predicted for English. These findings show that language effects on cognition are context-bound and transient, revealing unprecedented levels of malleability in human cognition. “