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Lecture 6

PSY311H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Child Process, John Bowlby

Course Code
Stuart Kamenetsky

of 2
PSY311 Lecture 6
January 21, 2015
Factors that effect infants’ development
diff caregiving behaviours (amount a parent talks to an infant), often related to personality
stability of caregiving behaviours (variations in amount of time spend talking to child)
responsiveness (to what degree does a parent respond promptly, reliability and appropriately)
parental beliefs (what parents know and believe about the nature of the child development)
affected to a large degree by culture
o There is such thing as better schooling in the public school system; rich communities
have better schools even though all schools within the public school are funded the
o Determines neighbourhood, education, amount of time/ energy parents have to spend
with child, access to resources
Mother vs. Father
Despite advances in society (i.e. higher number of women in higher education; higher than men
in almost all departments (not engineering, etc.) and changes in gallantary role in family,
mothers assume primary role as caregiver
Both parents respond in similar ways to infant’s cues
o If child smiles, mother and father will both smile back
o Don’t know if both are prewired to respond in same way or if mothers are more-so
Moms are more likely to hold baby (in general but especially during caregiving)
o High prevalence of this now compared to past but the problem of holding the child all
the time is that the child will not learn how to adapt to situations without mom, and this
will also effect rearing of second child (second child will learn that mother will not be for
them all the time because spending so much time with first child)
o Fathers tend to pick up child less
Dads are more likely to hold infant during play or as a response to a request by the infant
Mothers tend to go along with infant’s focus whereas fathers tend to set their own
o Mother will be more in tune with what child needs and will be more flexible will let
child explore
Mothers are more in tune with infant’s linguistic abilities
o Differential enforcement and modelling
o So mom is more likely to understand child’s imperfect renditions
In general, moms are more involved in caregiving and dads are more involved in play
o It’s not quantity of caregiving but quality of caregiving
Normal children become attached to both parents
o Parents have to contribute in the way they do best
The nature of parent-infant interactions are likely determined by sophisticated mechanisms
governed by two general principles:
o The specificity principle states that specific experiences at specific times exert specific
effects over specific aspects of infants’ growth in specific ways
Everything matters!
According to Freud and this theory everything will matter and will have long
term effects
o The transactional principle recognizes that the characteristics of individuals shape their
experiences and reciprocally that experiences shape the characteristics of individuals
through time. Infants actively contribute toward producing their own environment and
reciprocally, environment ….
Potential Questions for Assignment
- is there is a certain number of people who a child can be attached to?
- are there cross-sectional impacts on development of child
- process of attachment in family with 2 dads and no moms, when Bowlby said that the first attachment
has to be with mom