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Child Development - Chapter 11
Terms in this set (37)
Psychoanalyst who formulated the Theory of Attachment
Emotional bond with a specific person that is enduring across space and time - usually to mother and father, or other primary caregivers, but can also occur in adulthood.
Results of monkey studies about lack of attachment early in life.
Monkeys raised in isolation until 6 months of age were incapable of social interaction, did not show interest in procreating and were unable to care for their offspring.
Based on John Bowlby's work, posits that children are biologically predisposed to develop attachments to caregivers as a means of increasing the chances of their own survival.
The idea that the presence of a trusted caregiver provides the child with a sense of security that makes it possible for them to explore the environment.
Bowlby's theory was strongly influenced by which other psychologist?
Freud. Especially the idea that infant's earliest relationships with their mothers shape their later development.
Bowlby replaced Freud's idea of "needy, dependent child" with?
Competence-motivated child, who uses his or her primary caregiver as a Secure Base to which they come back after exploring the world. This helps the child to become knowledgeable and competent. It also helps reassure the child at times of fear and insecurity.
Nature & Nurture in attachment
Nature: children are programmed to attach to their caregiver.
Nurture: development and quality of the attachment process dependes on the experience the child has with the caregiver.
The 4 phases of Attachment
1. Pre-attachment (0 - 6 weeks)
2. Attachment -in-the-making (6 weeks - 6/8 months)
3. Clear-cut attachment (6/8 months - 15 months)
4. Reciprocal Relationship (15 - 24 months and onwards)
- Birth to 6 weeks.
- Infant produces innate signals such as crying, to summon caregiver attention.
- Infant is comforted by caregiver's response to these signals.
- 6 weeks to 6 - 8 months
- Infant responds preferentially to familiar people.
- Smiles, laughs, babble more to primary caregiver than others.
- More easily soothed by primary caregiver.
- Time when infants form expectations about how their caregivers will respond to their needs.
- Depending on how the caregivers meet these expectations, the trusting bond is formed or not.
Clear-cut attachment phase
- 6 - 8 months to 15 months.
- Actively seeks contact with the caregiver.
- May exhibit separation distress or anxiety.
- Now, the mother is the secure base, facilitating their exploration of the environment.
Reciprocal relationship phase
- 15 to 24 months, and onwards.
- Toddlers are now able to understand their parent's feelings, goals and motives.
- They use this understanding to organize their efforts to be near their parents.
- This results in a more mutually regulated relationship, with the child taking an increasingly active role in the partnership with the parents.
- Separation distress declines.
Internal working model of attachment
The child's mental representation of the self, of attachment figures and of relationships in general; constructed as a result of experiences with caregivers.
- Influences their overall adjustment, social behaviour, perceptions of others, and the development of their self-esteem and sense of self.
Key measures of the quality of the infant's attachment, from the work of Mary Ainsworth
1. The extent to which the infant uses the mother as a secure base.
2. How the infant reacts to brief separation form, and reunions with, the caregiver.
Strange Situation Test
A procedure developed by Mary Ainsworth, to assess infant's attachment to their primary caregiver.
Three attachment categories - Mary Ainsworth
1. Secure attachment
2. Insecure attachment - insecure/resistant
3. Insecure attachment - insecure/avoidant
Fourth type of attachment observed after Mary Ainsworth's original work
4. Insecure attachment - disorganized/disoriented attachment
- High-quality relatively unambivalent relationship with their caregiver.
- Child uses the caregiver as a secure base, confidently leave her side to explore the environment during the Strange Situation.
- Usually, not always, show distress when the mother leaves, but are glad to see her when she returns and are easily soothed by her during reunion.
- 60 - 50% of children show Secure Attachment.
- Less positive attachment to their caregiver.
- Can be Ambivalent/Resistant, Avoidant or Disorganized.
Insecure attachment - Ambivalent/resistant
- Child is clingy and stays close to the caregiver rather than exploring the environment.
- Get very upset when the mother leaves the room, crying intensely.
- In the reunion, usually runs to the mother but then shows resistance to her soothing attempts.
- 9% of western children.
Insecure attachment - Avoidant
- Child seems somewhat indifferent to the mother, sometimes even avoiding them altogether.
- They don't show any distress when she leaves the room, and don't greet her when she comes back.
- If the child does get upset when the mother leaves, they are easily soothed by the stranger, just as they are by the parent.
- 15% of western children.
Insecure attachment - Disorganized/Disoriented
- Group that did not fit well in any of the other categories.
- Child has no consistent way of coping with the stress of the Strange Situation.
- Behaviour is confused or even contradictory.
- Often appear dazed and disoriented; may be displaying positive emotions and suddenly become very upset for no apparent reason.
- Seem to be in a dilemma: they want to be close to the mother, but fear the closeness at the same time.
- 15% of western children. But considerably higher among abused/maltreated infants; among children whose parents are having serious difficulties with their own attachment styles; and among children of low socioeconomic background.
The Strange Situation Test - Events
1. Mother and child introduced to the room, researcher leaves.
2. Mother and child alone in the room.
3. Stranger enters and sits with the mother quietly for 1 minute, talks to the mother for 1 minute, interacts with the baby for 1 minute.
4. Mother leaves child alone with the stranger.
5. Mother comes back, soothes the baby. Stranger leaves.
6. Mother leaves again, baby is alone in the room.
7. Stranger comes in and tries to soothe the baby.
8. Mother comes back and soothes the baby.
There is no similarity between the child's behaviour in the Strange Situation and their behaviour at home. True or False?
False. There is good correlation between the behaviour displayed by the child in both environments. It also correlates with later behaviour patterns.
Securely attached children display what kinds of behaviours at home?
More enjoyment of physical contact, less fussy or difficult, better able to use the mother as a secure base for exploration, more likely to explore and learn about the environment and enjoy doing so.
Adult attachment Styles
Adult attachment style of the parent correlates with the child's attachment style. True or False?
True, specially for Autonomous Parent - Securely attached child; Unresolved parent - Disorganized chid; Dismissing parent - Avoidant child.
Cultural variations in Attachment
- Japanese children have the same % of secure attachments as North American, but display no insecure/avoidant behaviour when insecurely attached; only insecure/resistant.
- Among Korean children, insecure/avoidant was also very rare.
- Differences may derive from other factors: Japanese children don't attend daycare at the age of the test so are not accustomed to separation; Japanese mothers behave differently in the test than at home due to feeling shy; child's behaviour may stem from a previous strange experience.
- Important contributing factor to the security of the attachment.
- Consistently responsive caregiving is the most important factor.
- Reciprocity in facial expressions, eye contact, interactions and play.
Parents of insecurely and securely attached children behave differently with their kids. True or False?
Behaviour of mothers with insecurely attached children.
- Inconsistent responses: sometimes respond promptly, sometimes don't.
- Seem highly anxious and overwhelmed by the demands of caregiving.
- Tend to be indifferent and emotionally unavailable.
- Sometimes reject the child's attempts at physical closeness.
In twin's studies, nearly all the variation in attachment was due to environmental factors. True or False?
There has been no proven cause/effect relationship between attachment style and parental sensitivity. True or False?
Genes involved in the predisposition to certain attachment styles.
- SLC6A4: Serotonin transporter gene.
- DRD4: Dopamine system gene.
- Differential susceptibility: certain genes result in children's being differently susceptible to the quality of their environment.
Children who are insecurely attached to both parents do more poorly in social interactions than children who have secure attachment to only one of the parents. True or False?
Even if the parent changes their behaviour, the attachment style of the child doesn't change. True or False?
False. Parents who changed their responses to their children were associated with changes in the children's attachment styles. Therefore, the child's development is predicted by both the early attachment and the later parenting behaviours, combined.