11 terms

Social Development

Caregiver-infant Interactions (Humans)
Melzoff & Moore
Aim: To investigate imitation of facial expressions in 2 & 3 week old infants.
Method: Infants were shown a set of 3 facial expressions & 1 hand movement. A dummy was positioned in the infant's mouth before & during the presentation of the behaviour by an adult model. The dummy was then removed & the infant"s immediate response was recorded on video. Judges were the asked to rate the infant"s response for likeness to any of the 4 target behaviour.
Findings: There was a significant association between the model"s behaviour & the behaviour of the child. Children imitated specific facial expressions and hand movements.
Conclusion: Young infants spontaneously imitate facial expressions and hand movements of adult role models.
Caregiver-infant interactions( Animals)
Harlow (1959)
Aim: To find out whether rhesus monkeys would show attachments to an object that provided food or to an object that provided comfort.
Method: Infant Rhesus monkeys were taken from their mothers and kept in a cage with 2 surrogate mothers; a soft comforting mother covered with a blanket & a wire mother that contained a feeding bottle. The monkeys were kept in these conditions for a period of time & then released into a cage with a group of normally raised monkeys.
Findings: The infant monkeys spent more time with the soft mother than the wire mother. When returned to the cage with normally raised monkeys Harlow's monkeys showed inappropriate social behaviour and delinquency. They were unable to form relationships and were aggressive to other monkeys that tried to mate.
1. They did not attach for food going against the theory of cupboard love.
2. Monkeys suffered emotionally not having an attachment to their mothers supporting idea of internal working model & negative effects in later life if no attachment is formed.
Measuring Attachments
Ainsworth (1978)
Aim: To measure attachment ties shown by children in brief separations from their mother.
Method: Exposed infants to a sequence of episodes that included being separated from their caregiver and left with stranger or alone and then being reunited with the caregiver. The children responses to the episodes were observed. The episodes were designed to increase levels of distress for the child.
Findings: Ainsworth identified 3 types of attachment- secure, Insecure Avoidant & Insecure Resistant. In her USA sample 65% were secure, 21% insecure avoidant & 14% insecure resistant.
Conclusion: There are different attachment stypes & these types are differentiated in observed attachment behaviours.
Measuring Attachments across different cultures
Van Ijzendoorn & Kroonenberg (1988)
Aim: To see if Ainsworth's findings were replicated in cross-cultural studies.
Method: Conducted a meta-analysis of studies that have replicated the 'strange situation' in different countries.
Findings: Most western societies had similar results as Ainsworth but there was great variation in places like Israel, Japan and Germany.
Conclusions: Ainsworth's method for measuring attachments should not be used to measure attachments in all cultures.
Bowlby (1946)
Aim: To look for a link between separation & emotional maladjustment.
Method: Carried out interviews with 44 young delinquents attending a clinic. Questions were asked about their behaviour and their earlier childhood. Interviews were also carried out with their families and information was obtained about childhood separations. Bowlby used a control group of non-delinquent young people with emotional problems as a comparison.
Findings: Prolonged separation before 2 years was found to be associated with 'Affectionless psychopathy'. Out of 14 individuals who had been labelled as affectionless psychopaths, 12 had been separated from their mothers for a long period of time in the first 2 years of life. Only 5 of the delinquents, who were said to not be affection less psychopaths, had been similarly separated from their mother at a young age. Out of the control group, only 2 individuals had been separated for any prolonged period.
Conclusion: Bowlby concluded that prolonged separations results in affectionless psychopatholgy. Provided the basis for his theory.
Rutter (1998)
Aim: To investigate the progress of Romanian Orphans brought to Britain for adoption in the 1990s.
Method: The Romanian children were assessed on a variety of physical and intellectual ability on arrival in Britain, & had a periodic assessments until the age of 4. A control group of British-adopted children was also tested to see whether it was separation from the mother or the sever circumstances in Romania that was responsible for any negative effects.
Findings: Half of the Romanian group showed intellectual deficits at the start & most were underweight. The control group of British children showed no such negative effects. 4 years later the 2 groups showed no significant differences in either intellectual or physical development. However, children from both groups who were older at time of adoption tended to perform less well.
1. The negative outcomes shown by the Romanian group could be overcome through adequate substitute care.
2. Separation from mother alone is not sufficient to cause negative outcomes as the British children had also been separated but were not developmentally delayed.
Number of Attachments
Schaffer & Emerson (1964)
Aim: Whether infants first form an attachment to one person.
Method: Observed 60 infants during their first year and again at 18 months. The mothers were interviewed about the infant's response to seperation.
Findings: They found nearly a third of the infants had initial attachments to more than one person. At 18 months, only 13 % were attached to more thn just one person.
Conclusion: Attachments were formed to people other than the mother and routine activities, such as feeding, didn't not seem to the relevant to the formation of the attachment.
Age-Related changes in friendship
Bigelow & LaGaipa (1975)
Aim: To investigate children's understanding of a 'friend'
Method: Analysed esasy about a 'best friend' written by children aged 6 to 14 years. Each was rated on 21 dimensions including sharing and reciprocity.
Findings: The dimensions referred to in the stories changed as children got older. For young children the emphasis was more on general play & giving to a friend, whereas for older the children the focus was more on similarity, acceptance, loyalty etc.
Conclusion: The understanding of the concept 'friend' became more sophisticated with age. With age there is an increasing emphasis on psychological qualities rather than physical interaction.
Sex Differences in Friendship
Lever (1976)
Aim: To investigate sex differences in friendship attitudes & friendship behaviours.
Method: 10 year old girls & boys were interviewed about their attitudes towards friendships and their interactions with friends.
Findings: Several sex differences emerged;
1.Girls are more comfortable with a single best friend, being less likely than boys to admit a 3rd person into a friendship.
2.Girls openly showed affection e.g holding hands where as this was rarely seen in boys.
3.Girls more sensitive to the fragility of the relationship e.g worrying about falling out.
4.Girls shared personal intimacies whereas Boys shared group secrets & info about rules.
Conclusion: Girls are more emotionally involved with friends and prefer more intimate two-person relationships, whereas boys' friendships are more open.
Causes of popularity and rejection
Dodge et al (1983)
Aim: To investigate whether there are behavioural differences between popular and rejected children in a playground.
Method: Naturalistic observation of 5 year olds in a playground. Focues on pairs of children and watched to see how a 3rd child would approach and attempt to join in a game. Recorded behaviours such as time spent watching, disruptive play of others, being generally uncooperative and making critical comments.
Findings: Popular and rejected childern differed significantly in their approaches. Popular- watched, waited, made group orientated statements and were gradually accepted. Rejected- highly active and aggressive, disrupting play of the others, being generally uncooperative and making critical comments.
Conclusion: The unpopularity of rejected children relates to deficits in social skills.
Consequences of popularity & rejection
Kupersmidt & Coie
Aim: To investigate the characteristics of rejected children when they are older.
Method: Longitudinal study of children. Popularity assessed at 11 years and problems assessed at 18.
Findings: Out of the Rejected children 15% had been suspended or dropped out of school and nearly a third had come into contact with the police. None of those who were popular had been suspended or in trouble with the police. Aggression rather than rejection was the best predicator of later problems for rejected children.
Conclusion: Rejected children are at risk of negative outcomes. Aggression appears to play a part in the process.