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PSYCHOLOGY AS: ATTACHMENT
Terms in this set (39)
What is attachment?
Attachment is a close emotional relationship between infants and their caregivers. 'Attached' infants will show a desire to be close to their primary caregiver. They'll show distress when they're separated, and pleasure when they're reunited.
What is the difference between classical conditioning and primary conditioning?
This about learning associations between different things in our environment. Getting food naturally gives the baby pleasure. The baby's desire for food is fulfilled whenever its mother is around to feed it. So an association is formed between mother and food. So whenever its mother is around to feed it. So an association is formed between mother and food. So, whenever its mother is around, the baby will feel pleasure - i.e. (attachment).
Discuss Harlow's monkeys study and need for comfort in attachment?
Harlow aimed to find out whether baby monkeys would prefer a source of food or a source of comfort and protection as an attachment figure. They had two artificial surrogate mother. One was made of wire mesh and contained a feeding bottle, the other was made of cloth but didn't contain a feeding bottle. Results showed that the monkeys spent most of their time clinging to the cloth surrogate and only used the wire surrogate to feed. The cloth surrogate seemed to give them comfort in new situations. When the monkeys grew up they showed signs of social and emotional disturbance. The females were bad mothers who were often violent towards their offspring. It was concluded that Infant monkeys formed more of an attachment with a figure that provided comfort and protection. Growing up in isolation affected their development.
Discuss evaluation or A02 for Harlow's monkeys?
The experiment was a lab stud, so there was strict controls of the variables meaning it's unlikely the results were affected by an unknown variable. The findings of the study were also applied to real life leading to a change in hospital procedure (human baby incubators are now given blankets). However it can be argued that you can't generalize the results of the study to human beings, because human and monkeys are qualitavley different. There is also ethical problems with this study as the monkeys were pet under stressful conditions, and later showed signs of being psychologically damaged by the experiment. Monkeys are social animals, so it was unfair to keep them in isolation. The fact that they were in isolation also means the study lacked ecological validity as they were not in their natural environment, so the results cannot be reliably applied to real life. Lab experiments can usually be replicated, but ethical guidelines are now in place mean that you couldn't repeat the study today to see if you would get the same results .
Discuss the ethological approach and Lorenz's imprinting of geese?
Ethology is the study of animals in their natural environment. Lorenz found geese's automatically attach to the first moving thing they see after hatching, and follow it everywhere, called imprinting. Normally the geese would imprint onto their mother, but Lorenz managed to get them to attach to him because he was the first thing they saw. Imprinting seems to occur during a 'critical period' (the first few hours after hatching, fast automatic process). It's unlikely to occur in humans because attachments take a longer time to develop and we don't automatically attach to particular things, quality care seems more important in human attachment formation.
Discuss Bowlby's evolutionary theory.
Bowlby argued something like imprinting occurs in humans and developed several claims. Firstly we have evolved a biological need to attach to our main caregiver (usually are biological mother) and having that one special attachment is called a monotropy. Forming this attachment has survival value as staying close to the mother ensures food and protection. Secondly a storng attachment provides a safe base, giving us confidence to explore our environment. Thirdly it also gives us a template for all future relationships - we learn to trust and care for others. Fourthly the first three years of life are the critical period for this attachment to develop - otherwise it might never do so. Lastly if the attachment doesn't develop or it's broken, it might seriously damage the child's social and emotional development.
Discuss evidence and criticism for Bowlby's theory.
There is some evidence for his claims as Harlow's monkeys supports the idea that we have evolved a need to attach and social and emotional development might be damaged if an attachment isn't formed. Schaffer and Emerson provided evidence against Bowlby's claims about monotropy and found children may form multiple attachment and may not attach to their mother. Harlow's study of monkey raised in isolation also goes against the idea of monotropy, as other monkeys who didn't have a mother, but grew up together, didn't shows gins of social and emotional disturbance in later life. They didn't have a primary caregiver, but seemed to attach to each other instead. There is also mixed evidence for claims of a critical period for attachments to develop. The effect of attachment not developing or being broken may not be as bad as Bowlby claimed due to further research in disruption of attachment and privation, deprivation.
What's the difference between secure and insecure attachment?
In a secure attachment, there's a strong bond between the child and it's caregiver. If they're separated, the infant becomes distressed. However, when they're reunited , the child is easily comforted by the caregiver. The majority of attachments are of this type. Secure attachments are associated with a healthy cognitive and emotional development. There are two types are insecure attachments, the first being insure -avoidant where the child doesn't become distressed when separated from their caregiver and can receive comfort from a stranger. This type of insecure attachment is shown by children who generally avoid social interaction and intimacy with others. Insecure - resistant are children uneasy around their caregiver, but become upset if they're separated. Comfort can't be given by strangers, and it's also often resisted from the caregiver. Children who show this style of attachment both accept and reject social interaction and intimacy.
Discuss Ainsworth's Strange situation?
In a controlled observation. 12-18 month old infants were left in a room were a number of scenarios occurred including the infant being left alone, the mother returning etc. The infants reactions were constantly being observed. Results showed that 15% of infants were insecure-avoidant (ignored there mother and didn't mind if she left), 70% were securely attached (content with their mother, upset when she left and happy when she returned and avoided strangers, the other 15% were insecure-resistant (uneasy around their mother and upset if she left, resisted strangers and were also hard to comfort when their mother returned. It was concluded that Infants showing different reactions to their carers have different types of attachment.
Discuss some evaluation/ A02 for Ainsworth's strange situation.
The research method used allowed control of the variables, making the results more reliable. However the lab type situation made the study artificial, reducing the ecological validity. The parents may have changed their behavior, as they knew they were being observed. This could have an effect on the children's behavior. Also the new situation in the experiment may have had an effect on the children's behavior - the study might not accurately represent their behavior in real life. Another problem is that the mother may not have been the child's main attachment figure.
Disucss Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg's cross cultural study of the strange situation.
Van Ijzendorn and Krooenberg carried out a meta-analysis of 32 studies on the strange situation across different countries such as Britain, Japan, Sweden and others to find overall patterns. The percentages of children classified as secure or insecure was very similar across all countries tested. Some differences were found in the distribution of insecure attachments. In western cultures it was seen as the dominant type of insecure attachment was avoidant. However in non-western cultures the dominant type was resistant. It was concluded that there is cross-cultural similarities in raising children, producing common reactions in raising children.
Discuss evaluation/ A02 in Van Ijezndoorn and Kroonenberg's cross cultural study of the strange situation.
Children are brought up in different ways in different cultures. This might result in different types of attachment in different cultures. Because of this, the strange situation might not be the most suitable way of studying cross cultural differences in attachment type. Using a different type of study may have revealed different patterns or types of attachment in different cultures. Also, the study assumes that different countries are the same thing as different cultures. One problem with the research method is that meta-analyses can hide individual results that show and unusual trend.
What finding are there from can we take from the strange situation?
The strange situation has taught us some cultural differences are found such as German infants being more avoidant due the Germans emphasis on Independence - seeing avoidant behavior as a good thing. The causes of different attachment types being debatable, as this may cause sensitivity of there carers/ inborn temperament. The Strange situation experiment, doesn't show the characteristic of a child. The experiment only shows a child's relationship with a specific person, so they might react differently with different carers, on later on in life. Attachment type may influence later behaviors as securely attached children may be more confident in school and from strong, trusting adult relationships. 'Avoidant' children may have behavior problems in school and find it hard to form close, trusting adult relationships. 'Resistant children may be insecure and attention-seeking in school, and as adults, their strong feelings of dependency may be stressful for partners.
What is the difference between separation and deprivation?
Separation is where a child is away from a caregiver they're attached to. The terms used when it's a relativity short time, just hours or days - not a longer or permanent separation. Deprivation describes the loss of something that is wanted or needed. So 'maternal deprivation' is the loss of the mother (or another attachment figure). A more long term or even permanent loss is implied.
What affects can separation have?
Several studies say infants or children who have been separated from the carer may react through the following stages according to the PDD model. Protest is when during the first few hours, the child will protest a lot of being separated from its mother by crying, panicking, calling for its mother. Despair occurs after a day or two where the child will start to lose interest in its surroundings, becoming more and more withdrawn with occasional crying. They may also eat and sleep less. Detachment occurs after a few days where the child will become more alert and interested again in its surroundings. It will cry less and may have seemed to have recovered from its bad reaction from separation. However, its previous attachments with its carer may now be permanently damaged - the trust and security may be lost.
Discuss Robertson and Robertson's research support on the PDD model.
In a naturalistic observation, several children who experienced short separations from their carers were observed and filmed. For example a boy called John around 18 months stayed in a residential nursery for nine days when his mother had another baby. The results shown that john showed signs of passing through the protest for the first few days and then showed signs of despair trying to get attention from the nurses but were busy with other children so 'gave up' trying. Then John showed detachment by being more active an content, however when his mother returned ti collect him, he was reluctant to be affectionate. It was concluded that John's reaction might not have been due to separation - it could of been down to his new environment or the fact he was getting much less attention that he was used to.
What are the strengths of the PDD model?
The findings have had important implication for child rearing practices will children being allowed to visit or remain with their mother during a stay in hospital. Furthermore studies have shown that children who receive foster care do better than those placed on an institutionalized setting. It seems children manage to cope with the separation as long as they still receive one to one support, even though it's not from their primary caregiver.
What are some weaknesses of the PDD model?
There are many extraneous variables to be considered. Many factors influence how a child reacts to separation. These include age (older children will cope better), the quality of the care received during the period of separation, the individual temperant of the child, and how often it has experienced separations. So separations do not necessarily produce the PDD effects. There may even be good for the child.
Discuss Bowlby's long term maternal deprivation hypothesis.
Bowlby stated that long term deprivation from an attachment figure could be harmful. He said deprivation from the main care during the critical period (3-5 years) will have harmful effects on a child's emotional, social, intellectual and physical development. Long term effects of deprivation may include separation anxiety (fear of separation from the carer). This may lead to problematic behavior (being clingy, avoiding school). Future relationships may be affected by this emotional insecurity.
Discuss Bowlby's 44 thieves study in relation to maternal deprivation
Case studies were completed on the backgrounds of 44 adolescents who had been referred to the clinic where Bowlby worked due to stealing. There was a control group of 44 emotionally disturbed adolescents that didn't steal. 17 of the thieves had experienced frequent separations from their mothers before the age of two, compared with 2 in the control group. 14 of the thieves were diagnosed as affectionless psychopaths. 12 of those 14 had experienced separation from their mothers. It was concluded deprivation of the child from its main carer early in life can have very harmful long term consequences.
Discuss A02/ Evaluation for Bowlby's 44 thieves study.
The results indicate a link between deprivation and criminal activity. However it can't be said that one causes the other. There may be other factors that caused the criminal behavior. Although case studies provide alot of detailed information, the study relied on retrospective data which may be unreliable.
What studies have suggested long term effects of separation.
Affectionless psychopathology as seen in the 44 thieves study. Anaclitic depression involving appetite loss, sleeplessness and impaired social and intellectual development. Deprivation dwarfism where infants are too physically underdeveloped due to emotional deprivation.
What are the strengths of Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis.
Goldfarb has supported Bowlby's hypothesis and found orphaned children who were socially and matenrally deprived were later less intellectually and socially developed.
What are some weknesses of Bowlby's maternal derpivation hypothesis
The evidecne can be criticised. Bowlby linked the 44 theives behaviour to maternal deprivation but other things were nto considered such as whether the povery they grew up in led them to steal. The children in Goldfab's support study may have been most harmed by the social deprivation in the orphanage rather than the maternal deprivation.
What did Skeels and Dye discover about how to reverse the disruption of attachment.
Skeels and Dye found children that who had been socially deprived (in a orphanage) during their first two years of life quickly improved their IQ scores if they were transferred to a school where they got one-to-one care.
What does privation mean? (Rutter)
Rutter claimed effects of maternal deprivation are more likely to be serious than the effects of maternal deprivation. Evidence for this comes from case studies of children who have suffered difficult conditions or cruel treatment.
Discuss the case of Genie. (Curtiss)
This case reported a case of a girl who suffered extreme cruelty from her parents and never formed any attachment. Her father kept her strapped to a high chair with a potty in the seat for most of her childhood. She was beaten if she made any sounds and didn't have the chance to play with toys or other children. She was discovered when she was 13 physically underdeveloped and could only speak with animal like sounds. After a lot of help she later learned some language but her social and intellectual skills never seemed to fully develop.
Discuss the Case of the Czech twin boys. (Koluchova)
In this case of the twin boys whose mother died soon after they were born. Their father remarried and their stepmother treated them very cruelly. They were often kept locked in a cellar, beaten and had no toys to play with. They were found with several rickets (a bone development disease caused by lack of vitamin D) and very little social and intellectual development. They were later adopted and made lots of progress. By adulthood they had above average intelligence and had normal social relationships.
What arte the differences between the two case studies used to investigate privation?
1. The length of privation and how old the children were discovered, the Czech twins were much younger then Genie, so still had time to develop once they were in a better environment. 2. their experiences during isolation, the twins were kept together so may of formed an attachment with each other. 3. The quality of care they received after isolation, the twins were adopted but Genie was passed between psychologists and eventually put in an institution. 4. Individual difference, including the ability to recover.
Why can't we establish valid reasons for the effects of privation?
The evidence can suggest recovery from privation is possible. However because of the lack of information about what happened to the children, we can't know for sure what they experienced (whether they had a brief attachment). So we can't be sure why the twin recovered more than genie.
What are the limitations to the evidence provided by the case studies?
The children didn't just suffer maternal privation, they also had very little social and intellectual stimulation and were generally treated horribly. So all these factors have to be taken into consideration when were looking at their development. There are problems with generalizing the evidence because they only focus on specific individual cases. The case studies showed mixed results for how children can recovered in privation. The Czech twins recovered well, but Genie didn't. More controlled scientific evidence is needed but it would be ethically wrong to put children through situations of privation to see what might happen, Some studies of children raised in institutions have provided evidence of the effects of privation, although we still cannot be precisely sure of the reasons behind these effects.
What did Hodges and Tizard discover about early institutional care in their study?
This was a longitudinal study of 65 children who has been placed in a residential nursery before they were four months old. They hadn't had the opportunity to form close attachments with any of their caregivers. By the age of four, some of the children had returned to their birth mothers, some had been adopted, and some stayed in the nursery. Results showed at 16 years old the adopted group had strong family relationships, although compared to a control group of children from a normal home environment, they had weaker peer relationships .Those who stayed in the nursery or who returned to their mothers showed poorer relationships with family and peers than those who were adopted. It was concluded that children can recover from early maternal privation if they are in a good quality, loving environment, although their social development may not be as good as children who have never suffered privation.
What are some A02/ Evaluation for Hodges and Tizard's study into the effects of institutional care?
This was a natural experiment so it had high ecological validity. However the sample was quite small and more than 20 of the children couldn't of been found at the end of the study, so it's hard to generalize the results to the wider population. The results are also supported by other studies such as Rutter et al who studied 111 Romanian orphans adopted by British families before they were 2 years old. Their development was compared to a control group of British children. They were initially below normal development but by four years of age their development had caught up. This supports Hodges and Tizard's findings that children can recover from deprivation if they had good quality care.
What is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)? (Parker and Forrest)
Reactive Attachment Disorder - Parker and Forrest outlined this rare but serious condition, which occurs in children who have been permanently damaged by early experiences such as privation of attachment. Symptoms include an inability to give or receive affection, poor social relationships, dishonesty, involvement in crime. The second is the cycle of
What is the cycle of privation and what did Quinton et al discover about the cycle in his study?
Quinton compared 50 women who had experienced institutional care as children, with 50 women who hadn't. They found that women who had been raised in institutions were more likely to have parenting difficulties later in life. This suggests their is a cycle of privation, children who have experienced privation later go on to become less caring parents. Therefore their children are deprived of strong maternal detachment and may then be less caring to their children, and so on.
Discuss Clarke-Stewart et al's positive effects of day care.
This study was made up of a series of separate observations, to examine the effects of day care. One experiment looked at the peer relationships of 150 children aged 2-3 years who came from different social backgrounds. In another experiment, the strength of attachment in a group of 18 month old children was studied. These children had at least 40 hours of day care per week. 'The strange situation' experiment the 18 month olds who had high intensity day care were just as distressed when separated from their mothers than those who had low intensity day care. It was concluded that day care can have a positive effect on the development of peer relationships in 2-3 year olds and attachment in 18 month olds is not affected by temporary separation. The observation were controlled so the study could be easily replicated. However, because the situation was artificial, the study lacks ecological validity and the results cannot be generalized to other children.
Discuss Belsky and Rovine's study on the negative effects of day care?
Infants were placed in the strange situation to assess how secure their attachments with their mothers were. One group had experienced no day care and one experienced at least 20 hours of say care per week before their first birthday. Results showed the infants who had received day care were more likely to have an insecure attachment type. They were either insecure avoidant or insecure resistant. It was concluded that day are has a negative effect on an infants social development.
Discuss how the research into day care is varied?
The studies focus on slightly different things (quality of care, age of child, and use of different samples. There are methodological problems with the studies that might lead to inconsistent results. All of these studies rely heavily on correlations, so it's not possible to establish cause and effect. Lastly the studies don't take individual differences like temperament into account.
Disucss hwo research has affected day care practices?
Research into child development and day care has influenced decisions about might be best for children on day care. Scarr identified several factors that make for good day care: Good staff training, adequate space for children, appropriate type of toys and activities, a good ration of staff to children and minimizing staff turnover so children can form stable attachments with carers. Vandell et al found children who had good quality day care were more likely to have friendly interactions with others compared to those receiving lower quality day care. Scarr and Vandell et al's studies show that high quality day care can have a positive effect on social development.
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