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attachment and relationships.docx

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Richard B Day

June 4 , 2013 Psych 2AA3: Child Development Attachment and Relationships Biological Basis of Attachment - Ethology and imprinting (Konrad Lorenz)  Studying fitness enhancing behaviours that are enhanced by natural selection  Imprinting: newly hatched chicks will imprint on their mother ensuring that they constantly follow her around. Follow the first thing that you see moving  Stay close to food source  Safety and survival  Dual purpose for mother and offspring - Harry Harlow’s monkey experiments  Social group of monkeys  Wire vs. cloth mother:  Contribution of biological needs (food) vs. social needs (comfort)  Manipulates which is the source of food  Prediction: because food is the primary need they would prefer to spend time with the mother who provided food  Experiments reveal that the infants prefer to spend their time with the cloth mother (comfort) and would only go to the wire mother to feed  Put in a new cage with comfort mother they would explore  Raise monkeys exclusively with either the wire mother or cloth mother  Wire mothers had physical, emotional and social problems  Partial isolation  Infant monkeys raised in these environments were not good mothers themselves, could not interact with their peers among other emotional problems Attachment Theory - John Bowlby – ethology and evolution  Attachment after World War II  None of the children had stable attachments  “The propensity to make strong emotional bonds to particular individuals [is] a basic component of human nature, already present in germinal form in the neonate”  Biological need to become attach is crucial to our development  What is the function of attachment:  Ensures infant will receive nurturance  Create a balance for children to explore and learn while being safe o Safe base form which they can explore the world - Mary Ainsworth – affectional bond  “A relatively long-enduring tie in which the partner is important as a unique individual and is interchangeable with none other. In an affectional bond, there is a desire to maintain closeness to the partner.”  Unique relationship: you don’t have that same bond that you do with all your other relationships  Take the theories of attachment and design an experiment to test attachment quality in the lab Affectional Bonds and Attachment - Attachment  A subtype of affectional bond in which the presence of the partner adds a special sense of security, a “safe base”, for the individual  The child’s relationship with the parents is an attachment, but the parents’ relationship with the child is not in these contexts  As the child is the only one who needs a safe base - Attachment behaviours  All those behaviours that allow a child or an adult to achieve and retain physical proximity to someone else to whom he is attached  Eye contact, smilling, whatever keeps you close together and maintains the attached relationship - Synchrony  The opportunity for the parent and infant to develop a mutual, interlocking pattern of attachment behaviours, a smooth “dance” of interaction  Can only develop with consistent opportunity to practice these skills The Child’s Attachment to the Parent - Bowlby – 3 phases in attachment  Phase 1: nonfocused orienting and signalling  Baby begins with a set of innate behaviour patterns that orient him towards others – proximity promoting behaviours  No attachment at this time  Crying  Not directed at a specific person  Behaviours to get their needs met  Phase 2: focus on one or more figures  3 months – aims behaviours at people who regularly take care of him/her  Primary care givers in the child’s life  Recognizes the people in their environment who they regularly have contact with  Phase 3: secure base behaviour  6 months – forms a genuine attachment  Uses the most important person as a safe base  Proximity seeking behaviours are going to be focused on that one person to whom they are attached to  Also around the time we see infants start to make strange as the caregiver is the only one who can comfort them - Not until phase three that we see fear of stranger emerging first followed by separation anxiety and social referencing Measuring the Quality of Attachments - Measuring attachment style:  The strange situation (Mary Ainsworth)  Gives researchers a tool allowing them to quantify the quality of their attachment - The strange situation: 1. Parent and infant are introduced to the experimental room 2. Parent and infant are alone. Parent does not participate while infant explores  Looking for the safe base behaviours 3. Stranger enters, converses with parent, then approaches infant. Parent leaves inconspicuously  How child reacts to stranger and reaction to the parent leaving 4. First separation episode: stranger’s behaviour is geared to that of infant  Stranger attempts to comfort the infant  Are the strangers able to comfort the children? 5. First reunion episode: parent greets and comforts infant, then leaves again  Does the child continue to be upset? 6. Second separation episode: infant is alone  How does the infant reacts to the separation? 7. Continuation of second separation episode: stranger enters and gears behaviour to that of infant  Is the stranger able to comfort the infant? 8. Second reunion episode: parent enters, greet infant, and picks up infant; stranger leaves inconspicuously  Designed to see how the infant interacts with the caregiver and the stranger  Being used as a safe base, the relationship is unique Variations in the Quality of Attachments - Types of attachment  Secure  Highest proportion  High quality and positive relationship with the caregiver  Use the caregiver as a secure base  Stay close to parent then eventually feel safe and begin to explore  When the parent leaves the infant is upset and are easily soothed when the parent comes back  Cannot be soothed by the stranger  Insecure  Avoidant o Second most common o Don’t care whether or not the parent is present o Does not use parent as secure base o Can just as easily be soothed by the stranger as they are from their parents  Ambivalent o Clingy o Don’t want to leave their parents o Stressful situations for the infant o Don’t explore the room o Become very upset when the caregiver leaves o Not very easily soothed when the parent returns  Disorganized/disoriented o Behaviours are not consistent o Don’t have a consistent pattern of behaviour as the others infants do - Limitations  Can only be administered in the lab  Subjective and observational  Limits the age of children Measuring the Quality of Attachments - Measuring attachment style:  Q-sort task:  Stack of cards that have different statements which are sorted from most like the behaviours child to least like behaviours of the child  We can see the distribution and classify the children based on the Q-sort task  Can be used with older children  Can be administered outside the lab and done at home  Scores correlate with strange situation classifications Origins of Secure and Insecure Attachments - Crucial ingredients to secure attachments  Emotional availability from caregiver  Does the caregiver show affection?  Are they stable?  Contingent responsiveness  Parent must be attuned to the child’s signals and cues and respond appropriately - Low level of responsiveness is associated with any insecure attachment  Disorganized/disoriented pattern  Child has been abused or the parent has suffered some trauma in their childhood  Avoidant pattern  Mother rejects the infant or regularly withdraws from contact with the infant Canadian Research: Greg Moran and David Pederson - Maternal behaviour and infant attachment  How differences in mother’s sensitivity influence attachment  Use the strange situations and observations in more natural settings  Have people measure the mother’s level of sensitivity to their infant  Cue for contact  Proximity  How well did the mother read the infants signals  Mother’s who were more sensitive were more likely to have securely attached infants  Insecure infants were more likely to have difficult temperaments Attachment Quality across Cultures - Is attachment universal since it increases fitness? - Culture influences attachment quality  Secure attachment is the most common p
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