Chapter 6 Independent Questions
I. Theories of Social and Personality Development
A. Psychoanalytical Perspectives – See lecture notes
B. Ethological Perspectives
1. (a) Bowlby distinguished between two different types of affectionate human relationships. Clarify
the difference between an affectionate bond and attachment?
- An affectionate bond is an emotional tie to an infant experienced by the parent while
attachment is the emotional tie an infant feels towards their parents; the child has a sense
(b) Define reactive attachment disorder.
- reactive attachment disorder is a disorder that appears to prevent a child from forming
close social relationships
ex. children who are adopted after spending more than 2 years in an orphanage are more
likely to suffer from this disorder
Research Report: Adoption and Development
2. Read the research report on pp. 150-151.
(a) Why might the formation of attachment be more challenging for infants that are adopted?
- aspects of temperament and personality are inherited, therefore, an adopted child is
more likely to be different than their adoptive parents, making the formation of
attachment more challenging
ex. two extremely shy parents adopt an outgoing child; parents may view the child’s
behaviour as difficult, basically different than theirs
(b) What did Elinor Ames’s (1997) research with Romanian orphans find?
- infants who had lived in the Romanian orphanages for more than 4 months before
being adopted by British Columbian families tended to have more psychological and
motor-behaviour problems than non-adopted children the more months an infant
had lived in the Romanian orphanage, the more serious his/her difficulties were
(c) What did Lucy LeMare’s (2001) research with Romanian orphans find?
- same results as Ames’ findings, but also that these Romanian orphans had a lower than
average IQ and academic achievement, and more difficulties with attention, learning
and peer relationships
these children were just as well liked as any other child and the adoption experience
has continued to be mutually rewarding for both the Romanian orphans and their
A. The Parents’ Attachment to the Infant
3. (a) Define synchrony. - synchrony is a mutual, interlocking pattern of attachment behaviours shared by a
parent and a child
it is like a conversation; the baby signals his needs by crying or smiling and he
responds to being held by quieting or snuggling; he looks at his parents when they look
(b) Identify the parental behaviours that are similar between fathers and mothers.
- the father’s bond with the infant also seems to depend more on the development of
synchrony than on contact immediately after birth
- fathers have the same list of attachment behaviours as do mothers; in the early weeks
of a baby’s life, fathers touch, talk to, and buddle their babies in the same ways that
(c) Identify the parental behaviours that are different between fathers and mothers.
- during the time that fathers spend playing with their baby, their engage in more physical
roughhousing while mothers spend more time in routine caregiving and also talk to and
smile at the baby more
this difference does not mean that fathers have a weaker affectional bond with their
infant; simply means that mothers and fathers use different attachment behaviours in
interacting with their infants
Ex. Canadian researchers found that fathers can be as sensitive to the needs of their
children as mothers; fathers are however, less consistent than mothers in responding to
infant cues, sometimes reacting and sometimes not
- fathers who reported that they felt accepted during their childhood/high level of
marital satisfaction were more responsive to their offspring, regardless of his
perception of his own childhood experience
B. The Infants’ Attachment to the Parents
i. Establishing Attachment – See lecture notes
ii. Attachment Behaviours
4. Some parent-infant interactions incorporate affect dysregulation. Describe this type of interactional
pattern and record the research findings related to it.
- affect dysregulation is an interaction pattern in which a caregiver’s emotional
responses to an infant interfere with the baby’s ability to learn how to regular his or her
emotions (ex. an infant is angry because an enjoyable activity is no longer available
and their caregiver responds with more anger, causing the infant’s anger level to
- research has found that the pattern is more common in infant-mother pairs in which the
mother displays low levels of sensitivity to the infant’s needs and the infant is
- most developmentalists think that the quality of the emotional give-and-take in
interactions between an infant and his caregivers is important to the child’s ability to
control emotions such as anger and frustration in later years
iii. Internal Models – See lecture notes C. Variations in Attachment Quality
i. Secure and Insecure Attachments – See lecture notes
ii. Stability of Attachment Classifications – See lecture notes
D. Caregiver characteristics and attachment
i. Emotional Responsiveness
5. (a) Define the two crucial ingredients for secure attachment.
- emotional availability on the part of the primary caregiver the caregiver is one who is
able and willing to form an emotional attachment to the infant
ex. economically/emotionally distressed parents may be so distracted by their own
problems that they can’t invest emotion in the parent-infant relationship these parents
may be able to meet the baby’s physical needs but unable to respond emotionally
- contingent responsiveness is being sensitive to the child’s verbal and nonverbal cues
and responding appropriately
they smile when the baby smiles, talk to the baby when he vocalizes, picks him up
when he cries, etc.
(b) A low level of parental responsiveness is associated with both types of insecure attachment.
However, each type of insecure attachment is distinct. Explain what parental responses are
associated with (i) avoidant patterns of attachment, (ii) ambivalent patterns of attachment (which is
the same as the “anxious” type), and (iii) disorganized/disoriented patterns of attachment (which is
a fourth type of attachment identified by more contemporary researchers – that is, not one of
Ainsworth’s three types of attachment).
i) – mother will reject the infant or regularly withdraw from contact with her, causing the
baby to more likely shown an avoidant pattern of attachment
ii) – primary caregiver is inconsistently or unreliably available to the child
iii) – parent had some unresolved trauma in his or her own childhood, such as abuse or a
parent’s early death leading to the abuse of their children
ii. Marital Status and SES
6. (a) How does age influence the attachment process?
- with increasing age, mothers become less likely to describe their babies as “difficult”
- older mothers display more sensitive care giving behaviours than teenagers (teenage
mothers are likely to have less education and fewer economic resources than older
thus hard to say whether age or maturity is responsible for associations between
maternal age and parenting characteristics
(b) How does marital conflict influence the attachment process?
- Parental arguments, especially those in which parents are verbally aggressive toward
each other, are more likely to display signs of emotional withdrawal than babies who
are not exposed emotional withdrawal of the infant interferes with synchrony,
thereby lessening the chances that he will develop a secure attachment to his primary
caregiver iii. Mental Health – (optional reading – not on exams)
E. Long-term Consequences of Attachment Quality
7. The effects of attachment quality have been empirically investigated. Summarize the effects of
attachment during the stages of (a) childhood, (b) adolescence and (c) adulthood.
III. Personality, Temperament, and Self-Concept
A. Dimensions of Temperament
Temperament is defined as inborn predispositions (nature) that affect how infants behave and
emotionally respond to their environment. Temperament is the foundation for personality, which
emerges in later stages of development. For instance, in chapter 10, you will be introduced to five
personality types; however, in the current chapter, the focus is on temperament.
8. (a) Based on their nine dimensions, Thomas and Chess propose three types of infant temperament:
(i) easy, (ii) difficult, and (iii) slow-to-warm-up. Define each of these three types of temperament.
i) easy temperament is a tendency to approaching new events positively, displaying
predictable sleeping and eating cycles, being generally happy and adjusting easily
ii) difficult temperament is a tendency for irregular sleeping and eating cycles,
emotional negativity and irritability, and resistance to change
iii) slow-to-warm-up temperament is a tendency for inactivity and turning away from
and adjusting slowly to unfamiliar people and new experiences; they display mild
signs of negativity and discomfort
(b) Contemporary theories of temperament suggest there are five traits or dimensions in infancy:
(i) activity level, (ii) approach/positive emotionality, (iii) inhibition, (iv) negative emotionality, and
(v) effortful control/task persistence.
i) activity level refers to an infant’s tendency either to move often and vigorously or to
remain passive or immobile
ii) approach/positive emotionality is a tendency to move toward rather than away from
new people, things, or objects; usually accompanied by positive emotion (similar to
what others called sociability
iii) inhibition is a tendency to respond with fear or withdrawal to new people, new
situations, or new objects
iv) negative emotionality is a tendency to respond to frustrating circumstances with
anger, fussing, loudness, or irritability
v) effortful control/task persistence is an ability to stay focused and to manage
attention and effort
B. Origins and Stability of Temperament
i. Heredity - (optional reading – not on exams)
ii. Neurological Processes
9. Jerome Kagan believes that temperament is the result of our physiology and neurology. According
to Kagan, what is the basis for human shyness or behavioural inhibition?
- The basis for human shyness or behavioural inhibition is based on different thresholds for
arousal in the parts of the brain that control responses to uncertainty – the amygdala and the hypothalamus
10. Why is it impossible to know whether Kagan’s findings are causes or effects? (See first paragraph
in this sub-section only)
- Critics argue that behaviour shapes the brain and thus shy children may exhibit different
neurological patterns than outgoing children because their exhibition of shy behaviour
contributes to the neural networks that developmental processes in the brain, such as
pruning, allow to develop and those that are shut down due to lack of use
iv. Long-term Stability - (optional reading – not on exams)
• Knowledge of self, self-awareness
0-2 years 2-6 years 6-12 years 12 – 20 years
Chp 6 – Infancy Chp 8 – Early Chil