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Lecture 8

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Child and Youth Studies
Lauren Mc Namara

Emotional Development Emotions… • Emotions are a core component of social development • Predisposition to react emotionally in certain ways • Interaction of temperament - caregiver, family, others Regulating Emotions • What are emotions? – innate drives: survive, grow, learn, and connect with others What is their purpose? – can contribute to growth of new skills, eg. - Interest/pleasure in mastering new tasks - Frustration – solutions Relationships, attachments - signals, empathy, concern, links to communication in social development. “use your words” - Crying signifies to the caregiver something is wrong, then it moves to babbling, then it moves to descriptive words (stepping stone) Temperament • Emotional reactivity and regulation an aspect of temperament • Temperament - biologically based differences in reactivity and regulation - temperament related to how children perceive and react to situations Temperamental Profiles * broad categories, relatively stable over time, across situations • Easy temperament (40%) - even tempered, typically positive, easy going, open to new experiences, predictable Difficult (10%) - active, irritable, reactive, irregular, slow to adapt to novel people/situations Slow-to-warm-up (15%) - inactive, moody, slow to adapt to novel people/situations, not as reactive as “difficult” Other: unique combinations Predispositions initiate a trajectory • Influenced by environment • Social interaction makes important contribution to emotional development • Goodness-of-fit - temperament may mediate social learning - social learning may mediate temperament • Mothers react differently to situations – if a child is hurt and crying, one mother might pick him/her up and comfort them, another mother might just be annoyed with the fact that their crying. Reaction from the parent is a major reflection on the child’s attitude. • Different paths that can evolve depending on the parent and the environment Parents and Attachment theory • Does environment/parenting matter? How children perceive/react to their environment Personalities can evoke a variety of parenting responses Environmental influence has implications for parenting, teaching and socialization practices ******Attachment Theory (Bowlby)****** • Dynamics of long-term relationship between humans - an infant needs to develop a relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to occur normally - behaviors, personalities, cries, etc. pulls a mother in for a response (communication, can be positive/negative) - the one caregiver that a child needs to set their development in motion (normally) - idea that if there is a poor attachment, then the baby won’t develop properly Example: Theories of Attachment • What causes children to “attach” to their mothers? Is it food? Familiarity? Instinct? • Would monkeys prefer a “mother” who fed them or one who was soft and cuddly? - Experiment of the monkeys (Reese’s) - Gave the baby monkey two different months, one was wired uncomfortable mom but that was the one that fed the monkey … other mom was a soft and warm cuddly mother. - Baby monkeys attached to the warm cuddly mother, and only went to the other mother to get their food then went right back to the other (more attached) mother. - Big push for breastfeeding, because it is an attachment thing (gives them food through bonding, while creating that attachment theory) Theories of Attachment • Harlow and Zimmerman (1959) tested feeding hypothesis Rhesus monkeys reared with surrogate “mothers” made of wire, one covered with soft cloth, one just wire ½ monkeys fed by wire surrogate, ½ fed by cloth surrogate in the while babies are more likely to survive if they stay with the mother that is soft and cuddly *** Instinct • Infant: major distress when separated from mother - • Mother: Evolutionary adaptation • Genetic selection favors attachment behaviors Increases likelihood of proximity Increases likelihood of protection Hunting/feeding Social interactions Behavioural regulation Emotional regulation (need to remain close) Adaptive Behaviours • Those that elicit care and attention Smiling; can’t avoid a smiling baby … this is something that draws us into them making us so close Reflexes like rooting, sucking, grasping Babbling • These behaviours naturally elicit attachments Cognitive Development Attachment behaviors Mental representation (schema) of - the attachment figure - the self - the environment All based on experiences - scripts, building blocks for future representation - representationl models, internal working models Purpose: efficiency Schema attached to people: because their mother is feeding them and taking care of them, they think all women are the same. Can work backwards too – if their mother neglects them they assume (scheme) that all mothers are going to be the same way. Dynamics of attachment • Secure base: positive schema (beliefs) - beliefs shape interactions with others - attributions about friends/social competence • Ability to regulate emotions - personalities can evoke a variety of parenting responses - aggressive behaviours alienate (feedback loop begins) Parents and Socialization • Attachment theory as foundation for trajectory Attachment and links to Development • Encode mental representations • Representations guide their expectations about other caregivers Attachment related fears • Stranger anxiety - negative reaction of infant/toddler to unfamiliar person/ - emerges once first attachment formed - peaks after about 8-10 months after they have a great representation of people, they are all the sudden terrified (they can recognize who their caregivers are anyone else is strangers and scares them … this is due to the baby’s strong attachment to someone) this is normal, doctors look for it at this age to make sure the baby is undergoing it. If they don’t have this anxiety when not around parents and around strangers, then maybe they aren’t attaching properly? Separation anxiety *** - discomfort Securely Attached … - easier time developing supportive relationships / harder time - Have more positive expectations of people / negative expectations - in turn respond more positively to people / respond negatively - more balanced self concept / unbalanced - more sophisticated grasp of emotion / less grasp - More positive understanding of friendship / negative understanding - Greater conscience development / - Stable response to stressors (can affect the neural circuitry that governs behavioral stress responses) * In time in a stable attachment and stable environment, these kids develop. • If opposites of above occur, the child sees people more negatively because they are surrounded by negativity Changes in parenting: • Huge responsibility on the parent to ensure positive attachment • Change from “prescriptions” or formulas to appreciation of the many ways parents can respond to the needs of children How they adjust to changing circumstances of their (parent and child) lives How they adjust to child’s developmental changes and needs Babies can’t change but parents can (so can teachers) teachers can teach differently for different individuals That means parents need … • Personal skills to interact constructively • Organizational skills to manage their lives • Problem-solving skills to manage challenges of children • The more likely they are to be these ways, the more likely their child is to be this way as well Disruptions in parenting Maternal Mental Illness – Depression (anxiety, bipolar, alcoholism, etc) – Maternal depression – effects attachment relationship. Characterized by a withdrawal and creates emotional detachment from the baby and effects the interaction/dynamics with their child and this is exactly where attachment is. (The same goes for physical/verbal abuse) Abuse and Neglect – Short and long term effects – Dysfunctional patterns of interaction (children more likely to be hostile and aggressive) – Express self-doubts more – More likely to perceive child as difficult – Lower social competence, insecurely attached, cognitively impaired, etc. – Long term: anxiety, depression, multiple forms of psychopathology Self ** relate to child development: teaching children who they are as an individual, how to act in different situations … children eventually grow up to be adults (we forget that what these kids are learning
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