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Social and Emotional Development


a feeling state that involves distinctive physiological and cognitive evaluations

physiological aspect of emotion

changes in heart rate and breathing

social aspect of emotion

used to communicate and regulate interactions with others

theory of gradual differentiation

infants are born with the capacity to express only general emotional reactions that are simply positive or negative
discontinuity of emotional development

ontogenetic adaptions

emotions have evolved because they contribute to the infant's survival


-emotional tie between caregiver and child
-it's not the quantity that matters, but the quality

secure attachment

-react positively to stranger when mother is present
-cry when mother leaves
-greets her when they are reunited

avoidant attachment

-indifferent to parent
-does not cry when parent leaves
-is equally responsive to stranger
-does not react to parent's return

resistant attachment

-stays close to parent and appears anxious
-becomes very upset when parent leaves
-are not comforted by their return

preattachment phase

remain close to caregiver but do not seem to mind when left with unfamiliar caregiver (birth to 6 weeks)

attachment-in-the -making

begin to respond differently to familiar and unfamiliar caregivers (6 weeks to 8 months)


mother becomes a secure base
experience separation anxiety (8 months to 24 months)

reciprocal relationship phase

engage in activities separated from their mother, but will occasionally return to her

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