Developmental Psychology: Attachments in Development
Learning Objectives Define attachment Outline key characteristics of attachment Explain why children form attachments 1 Definition of Attachment A strong, reciprocal, emotional bond between an infant and caregiver(s) characterised by a desire to maintain proximity. Attachments can be secure or
insecure. Infants display attachment through separation distress, pleasure at reunion with the caregiver, and stranger anxiety. 2 Maccobys (1980) key characteristics of attachment: Seeking proximity to primary caregiver Infant stays close to the main attachment figure
3 4 Maccobys (1980) key characteristics of attachment: Distress on separation Separation protest baby cries carer anxious 5 6
Maccobys (1980) key characteristics of attachment: Pleasure when reunited Smiles and acts excitedly 7 8 Maccobys (1980) key characteristics of attachment:
General orientation of behaviour towards primary caregiver Secure base - returns to carer frequently 9 10 Why Do Infants Form Attachments? Short-term benefits
Food Protection Survival Instinctive - genetic 11 Why Do Infants Form Attachments? Long-term benefits Internal working model for future relationships
Hazan and Shaver (1987): the love quiz the kind of lover you are may be related to the kind of attachment you had as an infant 12 Schaffer & Emersons theory of the development of attachment Asocial stage 0 to 6 weeks
Babies respond to inanimate objects and humans in similar ways. Behaviour is not directed at anything or anybody in particular. 13 Schaffer & Emersons theory of the development of attachment Indiscriminate attachments 6 weeks to 7 months Happiest when receiving
attention - show sociability Not directed at any one person Any one will do! 14 Schaffer & Emersons theory of the development of attachment Specific attachments 7 to 11 months Attachment to 1 person - stranger
anxiety & separation protest 65% specific attachment at 7 mths 87% multiple attachments by 18 mths 15 Evidence for: The stages appear to be correct If you leave a child in a nursery before 7 months they show little distress Infants do display separation protest and stranger anxiety
If you leave it until 9 months they will show severe separation protest 16 Evidence against: Babies may not be asocial 2/3 of babies only 2 days old preferred mothers face to the face of a stranger. Skin-to-skin hypothesis Hormones released by mother and infant at or soon after birth help
bonding, separation of mum and baby may make bonding more difficult. 17 The strange situation measures three key indicators of attachment: Separation Protest Stranger Anxiety Reunion Behaviour 18
Secure attachment A strong bond between infant and carer. Distress at separation but easily comforted upon reunion. Child has a positive working model of relationships. 19 Insecure attachment Weaker attachment bond. Severe separation distress,
lack of stranger anxiety, and avoidant or resistant reactions on reunion. Child has negative working model of him/herself and others. 20 Secure Attachment - Type B 70% Frequency? Stranger Yes
Anxiety? Separatio Yes n Protest? Pleasure Yes at Reunion? Yes Explores?
Carer Yes Secure Base? 21 Insecure Avoidant - Type A 20% Frequency? Stranger Yes Anxiety?
Separatio No n Protest? Pleasure No at Reunion? Yes Explores? Carer No
Secure Base? 22 Insecure Resistant - Type C 10% Frequency? Stranger Yes Anxiety? Separatio Yes
n Protest? Yes/ Pleasure at No Reunion? No Explores? Carer No Secure
Base? 23 Disorganised Attachment Type D Some infants cannot be Why Added? classified Inconsistent Stranger
Anxiety? Inconsistent Separatio n Protest? Inconsistent Explores? Pleasure Inconsistent
at Reunion? Carer Inconsistent Secure Base? 24 AO1 Questions Outline two types of attachment (3 + 3) One type of attachment
is secure attachment. State It is a strong contented bond between the infant and caregiver. Explain Securely attached
children use the carer as a safe base and show distress on separation and pleasure at reunion Example 25 Reliability What is it?
Test - Retest procedure is repeated at different ages to see f the infant is classified in the same way. Research evidence First assessment 18month Repeat 6 years Secure 100% consistency.
Avoidant 75% consistency. 26 Validity What is it? Criterion Validity Does it measure what it says it does? Research evidence Children classed as secure age 2 Follow up late childhood Popular, high self esteem, less aggression, social leaders.
But Correlational why is this a problem? 27 Definition of Cross-cultural variations Behaviour, attitudes, norms, and values differ across cultures. This affects childrearing styles and beliefs about which qualities should be nurtured. This in turn may affect attachment type.
28 Results of Van IJzendoorn et al 70 60 50 % 40 USA West Germany
I srael J apan 30 20 10 0 Secure Avoidant Resistant Type 29
Evaluation Universality in attachments. the same characteristics underpin infantcaregiver interactions across cultures. Variation within greater than between 1.5 times. Does this make the measure invalid. Imposed Etic? measure is ethnocentric based upon western childrearing ideals.
30 The Psychodynamic Approach Cupboard-love: Libidinal desires are satisfied. Oral stage pleasure mouth attach to mum as she provides food
Suckling - pleasureable Prototype for future relationships. secure child can give and receive love insecure child may orally fixate to compensate for poor relationships 31 Evaluation Harlows(1959) research contradicts cupboard love. 32
33 Evaluation Schaffer and Emersons (1964) research suggests that 40% of infants do not attach to the primary caregiver. responsiveness and stimulation were more important factors in attachment. 34 35
Learning Theory Classical Conditioning UCS Food leads to UCR Pleasure UCS Food paired with CS Mother leads to UCR Pleasure CS Mother leads to CS Pleasure 36 Learning Theory Operant Conditioning mother is a source of positive
reinforcement she is a secondary reinforcer as she is associated with food, warmth, security and attention. 37 Evaluation Also contradicted by Harlows research and Schaffer and Emerson. Reductionist oversimplified only accounts for one factor
learning Ignores nature or genes We may be genetically programmed to attach. 38 Monotropy Promotes safety and survival Influenced by Darwin Innate Babies respond to human faces very early
Internal Working Model psychodynamic theory irreversible 39 Monotropy primary attachment is special Psychological stay-close mechanism maintain proximity invisible string
Attachment is reciprocal infant has social releasers carer is programmed to respond 40 Evaluation Theory has positive applications children should be adopted before they are 3 stimulated Ainsworths research. IWM deterministic peers may also influence behaviour. Attachment may not be monotropic
Children clearly have multiple attachments mum, dad, granny, daycare etc. Evolutionary theory is post hoc. inferred afterwards unfalsifiable 41 Deprivation Separation leading to bond disruption. Leads to long term emotional problems.
(Affectionless Psychopathy) Once broken bond cannot be remade. 42 Privation Lack of an appropriate attachment figure. More likely to cause permanent emotional damage or affectionless
psychopathy. 43 The Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis Emotional care is important for mental development, as important as good standard of physical care. Children need a warm and continuous relationship with the mother or mother substitute Frequent or prolonged separations
disrupt continuity and lead to emotional disturbance affectionless psychopathy IF it happens before 21/2 and there is no substitute mother-person 44 Evaluation Positive impact - mothers stay with children in hospital, fostering rather than childrens homes. Deprivation may be indistinguishable from privation. Parents who die or are absent may
mean that the child never forms and attachment Maladjustment may not just be caused by deprivation there could be a third factor eg social conditions Post-war politics Mums go back home Dads need the jobs 45 Hodges & Tizard Summary Effects reversible criticism of Bowlby children attached to foster parents despite negative working models and being outside the critical period.
Problems with peers supports Bowlby perhaps new attachment cannot be generalised if outside critical period Harris Groups Socialisation Theory contradicts internal working model Peer relationships become more important with age. 46 Positive and Negative Effects How might day care improve social
development? Why? How might it negatively affect social development? Why? How might day care improve cognitive development? Why? How might it negatively affect cognitive development? Why? 47 Social development Development of social competence including social skills,
ability to relate and empathise with others, and formation of close and meaningful relationships. Determined by an interaction of biological predisposition and the environment. 48 Cognitive development Development of mental processes including thought, reasoning and memory. IQ tests and school performance are
used to measure cognitive development. Determined by an interaction of biological predisposition and the environment. 49 Individual Differences include: attachment type Insecure benefit, secure children suffer. quality of daycare & maternal sensitivity
Children in poor quality daycare who had low sensitivity parents more likely to be insecure level of stimulation at home daycare can compensate for low stimulation at home 50
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