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Chapter 11

PSYC 251 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Heterosexuality, Minority Group, Serotonin Transporter


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 251
Professor
Stanka A Fitneva
Chapter
11

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Chapter 11
Attachment to Others and Development of Self
Found that no matter how hygienic and well managed an orphanage is, they put
babies at a high risk because they do not provide the same kind of caregiving that
enables infants to form close socioemotional bonds
The earlier the adoption into a family, the better
Attachments: An emotional bond with a person that is enduring across space and
time. Usually, attachments are discussed in regard to relation between infants and
specific caregivers, although they can also occur in adulthood
Nature and nurture and sociocultural context are important
Individual differences also play a role as children in normal social circumstances
develop attachments to their parents that differ
Quality of children’s early attachment lays the foundation for how children feel
about themselves, sense of security and well-being
The Caregiver-Child Attachment Relationship
Many young children who had been orphaned/separated from their parents were
affected by the quality of caregiving the received
Study done by Harlow raised monkeys away from mothers, kept them in a safe
and healthy environment, but they still compulsively bit and rocked themselves
and avoided other monkeys, as adults females had no interest in sex
This study shows that children’s healthy social and emotional development is
rooted in their early social interactions with adults
Attachment Theory
Attachment Theory: Theory based John Bowlby’s work that posits that children
are biologically predisposed to develop attachments to caregivers as a means of
increasing the chances of their own survival
Bowlby’s Attachment Theory
Strongly influenced by Feud, especially that infant’s earliest relationships with
their mothers shape their later development
Believed that infants use their primary caregiver as a secure base (Freud
considered this as infants are “needy and dependent”)
Secure Base: Refers to the idea that the presence of a trusted caregiver provides
an infant/toddler with a sense of security that makes it possible for the child to
explore the environment and become knowledgeable and competent, child derives
comfort and pleasure from being near the caregiver
Proposes that the attachment process between infant and caregiver is rooted in
evolution and increases the infant’s chance of survival, innate, but
development/quality of the attachments are dependent on the experiences with
caregivers
Initial development of attachment takes place in 4 phases:
- Preattachment (birth to 6 weeks: Infant produces innate signals such as crying
that summon caregivers, infant is comforted following interaction

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- Attachment-in-the-making (6 weeks to 8 months): Infants respond
preferentially to familiar people, form expectations about how their caregivers
will respond to their needs, and if needed do not develop a sense of trust in them
- Clear-cut attachment (8 months to 1 ½ years): Seek contact with regular
caregivers, happy when mother appears, may exhibit separation anxiety when
mother departs, mother serves as a secure base
- Reciprocal relationships (from 1 ½ to 2 years): Final phase, rapidly increasing
cognitive and language abilities enable toddlers to understand their parent’s
feelings, goals and motives and use this to organize their efforts to be near their
parents, relationship becomes more mutually regulated, separation distress
declines
If relationship is healthy, usual outcome is an enduring emotional tie between the
infant and caregiver, child also develops an internal working model of attachment
Internal Working Model of Attachment: Child’s mental representation of the self,
of attachment figures(s), and of relationships in general that is constructed as a
result of experiences with caregivers. The working model guides children’s
interactions with caregivers and other people in infancy and older ages
If caregivers are accessible and responsive, children come to expect interpersonal
relationships to be gratifying and feel worthy of receiving care and love
If caregivers are unavailable or unresponsive, children develop negative
perceptions or relationships with other people and of themselves
Ainsworth’s Research
Ainsworth worked with Bowlby and provided further empirical support for
Bowlby’s theory
Came to the conclusion that 2 key measures provide insight into the quality of the
infant’s attachment to the caregiver:
- The extent to which an infant is able to use his/her primary caregiver as a secure
base
- How the infant reacts to brief separations from and reunions with, the caregiver
Measurement of Attachment Security in Infancy
Strange Situation: Procedure development by Mary Ainsworth to asses infant’s
attachment to their primary caregiver, laboratory test that is conducted in a
context that is unfamiliar to the child and likely to heighten the child’s need for
his parent
Infant is accompanied by the parent, placed in room with toys, after the
experimenter introduces the parent and child to the room, the child is exposed to 7
episodes, including 2 separations and reunions with the parent as well as 2
interactions with a stranger (one when the parent is present, and the other when
the parent is absent)
Through the different situations, observers rate the infant’s behaviours (attempts
to seek closeness and contact with the parent, resistance of the parent, interactions
with the stranger, interactions with the parent from a distance using
language/gestures)
Through strange situation experiment identified 3 patterns in infant behaviour that
indivates the quality of security of their attachment bond

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Secure Attachment: High quality relationships, may be upset when the caregiver
leaves, happy when the caregiver returns, return of caregiver comforts them,
recovers quickly from any distress, use caregivers as a secure base for
exploration, will look back at mothers occasionaly when exploring or bring a toy
back to show their mothers
62% of middle class children in the US fall under secure attachment, for those in
lower socioeconomic groups, the rate is lower
Insecure Attachement: Less positive attachments to their caregiver than securely
attached children, can be classified as insecure/resistant, insecure/avoidant or
disorganized/disoriented
Insecure/Resistant: Infants are clingy and stay close to their caregiver rather than
exploring their environment, tend to get upset when caregiver lives them alone in
the room, not easily comforted when caregiver returns, both seek comfort and
resist efforts by the caregiver to comfort them
9% of middle-class children in the US fall under this category, numbers are higher
in many non-Western cultures
Insecure/Avoidant: Indifferent toward their caregiver before the caregiver leaves
and once again either indifferent/avoidant when the caregiver returns, if they get
upset when left alone, will easily be comforted by the stranger or a parent
15% of middle class infants in US fall in this category
Disorganized/Disoriented: No consistent ways of coping with the stress of the
Strange Situation, behaviour is confused, contradictory and often appear dazed
and disoriented, want to approach mothers, but regard them as a source of fear
and want to withdraw
15% of middle-class in US fall in this category, but higher in maltrated infants
Similarity between infant’s behaviour in the Strange Situation and their behaviour
at home, securely attached infants exhibit more enjoyment of physical contact, are
less fussy, use mothers as a secure base
Adult Attachment Models: Models of attachment in adulthood that are believed to
be based on adult’s perceptions of their own childhood experiences—especially
their relationships with their parents—and of the influence of these experiences
on them as adults
Parents with secure adult attachments tend to have securely attached children
Cultural Variations in Attachments
There is a general consistency in attachment percentages among different
cultures/countries
Despite these consistencies, there are some differences in children’s behaviour in
the Strange Situation
In one study of Japanese infants, they were all classified as insecure/resistant,
which is to say none exhibited insecure/avoidant behaviour, could be because of
the emphasis between mother and child in Japanese culture, there is a greater
closeness and physical intimacy and dependency between infants and their mother
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