Security blanket

A security blanket is any familiar object whose presence provides comfort or security to its owner, such as the literal blankets often favoured by small children. It is a comfort object and is also known as a "security object." The phrase "security blanket" was popularized in the Peanuts comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz, who gave such a blanket to his character Linus van Pelt. A popular name for a security blanket is "blanky" (sometimes "banky"). Another term is "wubby", which was popularized by the 1983 film Mr. Mom.

English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott spoke of transitional objects, loosely equivalent to the security blanket. Stuffed animals are sometimes carried in emergency vehicles and police patrol cars, to be given to children involved in an accident or traumatic event, to provide them comfort, thus filling a similar role.

Research with children on this subject was performed at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by Richard H. Passman and his associates. Among other findings, they showed that security blankets are appropriately named — they actually do give security to those children attached to them. Along with other positive benefits, having a security blanket available can help children adapt to new situations, aid in their learning, and adjust to physicians' and clinical psychologists' evaluations. Dr. Passman's research also points out that there is nothing abnormal about being attached to them. About 60% of children in the United States have at least some attachment to a security object.

See also


Creature Comforts, People and Their Security Objects by Barbara Collopy O'Halloran and Photographed by Betty Udesen.

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