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PSYC 3450 (49)
Chapter 5


14 Pages

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PSYC 3450
Karl Hennig

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MIDTERM #2 SPD CHAPTER 5 1960, john bowlby published an article describing the behavior of 15- to 30-month-old toddlers who had been separated for long periods from their mothers while hospitalized for chronic illnesses. The progress of these sickly but otherwise normal children was anything but normal. According to Bowlby, most of these children progressed through three behavioral phases during their prolonged hospitalization: 1. In an initial protest phase, children tried to regain their mothers by crying, demanding her return, and resisting the attention of substitute caregivers. This phase lasted from a few hours to more than a week. 2. In a second phase of despair, children seemed to lose hope of ever being reunited with their mothers. They often became apathetic and unresponsive to toys and other people and seemed to be in a deep state of mourning. 3. Finally, many children progressed to what Bowlby called the detachment phase. They appeared to have ―recovered‖ in that they showed renewed interest in toys and substitute caregivers; but their relationships with their mothers had changed. When the mother visited, her child was often cool and indifferent, showing little if any protest when she left once again. It almost seemed as if the children were in the process of undoing their emotional ties to their mothers. - fourth separation phase, permanent withdrawal from human relationships, may occur if a child’s separation from the mother is extremely prolonged or if he loses a series of temporary attachment objects, such as nurses or babysitters, while separated from his mother. In either case, these children often become less interested in human contact -observations lead to the idea that infants for attachments with primary caregiver What Are Emotional Attachments? - strong affectional ties that we feel for the special people in our lives - people who are securely attached take pleasure in their interactions and feel comforted by their partner’s presence in times of stress or uncertainty -attachment a close emotional relationship between two persons, characterized by mutual affection and a desire to maintain proximity. Attachments are Reciprocal Relationships - parent-child attachments are reciprocal relationships; infants become attached to parents, and parents become attached to infants -neonate a newborn infant from birth to approximately 1 month of age - before their baby is born, many parents display their readiness to become attached by talking blissfully about the baby, formulating grand plans for him or her - emotionally bonded to her, and that the parental bond that forms during this early ―sensitive period‖ would be stronger and remain stronger than those later established by other parents who had had no contact with their babies shortly after birth - ―sensitive period‖ hypothesis was a radical claim that other researchers quickly sought to evaluate - In sum, secure attachments between infants and caregivers are not formed in the first few hours (or days) after birth; they build gradually from social interactions that take place over a period of months, and there is simply no reason for parents who have not had early skin-to-skin contact with their new-born to assume that they will have problems establishing a warm and loving relationship with him or her Interactional Synchrony and Routine -synchronized routines generally harmonious interactions between two persons in which participants adjust their behavior in response to the partner’s actions and emotions. - Infants normally begin to gaze quite intently and to show more interest in their mothers’ faces between 4 and 9 weeks of age - by age 2 to 3 months, they are beginning to understand some simple social contingencies as well. Thus, if a mother smiles at her 3-month-old when the baby is alert and attentive, he will often become delighted, crack a big smile in return, and expect a meaningful response from Mom - young infants have come to expect some degree of ―synchrony‖ between their own gestures and those of caregivers - most likely to develop if the caregiver attends carefully to the baby’s state, provides playful stimulation when the child is alert and attentive, and avoids pushing things - Smooth synchronous interactions are most likely to develop if parents limit their social stimulation to those periods when the baby is alert and receptive, and avoid pushing things too far when the infant’s message is ―Hey, I need to chill out.‖ - difficult time establishing synchronized routines with temperamentally irritable or unresponsive infants - synchronized exchanges between 3-month-olds and their caregivers may occur several times a day and are particularly important contributors to emotional attachments How Do Infants Become Attached? -infant requires some time before she is developmentally ready to form a genuine attachment to another human being Growth of Primary Attachments - Rudolph Schaffer and Peggy Emerson (1964) studied the development of emotional attachments by following a group of Scottish infants from early infancy to 18 months of age - mothers were interviewed to determine (1) how the infant responded when separated from close companions in seven situations (for example, being left in a crib, being left in the presence of strangers) and (2) the persons to whom the infant’s separation responses were directed. A child was judged to be attached to someone if separation from that person reliably elicited a protest - infants pass through the following phases as they develop close ties with their caregivers: 1. asocial phase (of attachment) approximately the first six weeks of life, in which infants respond in an equally favorable way to interesting social and nonsocial stimuli. 2. phase of indiscriminate attachments period between 6 weeks and 6–7 months of age in which infants prefer social to nonsocial stimulation and are likely to protest whenever any adult puts them down or leaves them alone. 3. phase of specific attachment period between 7 and 9 months of age when infants are attached to one close companion (usually the mother). - babies have established their first genuine attachments. - The formation of a secure attachment to a caregiver has another important consequence: -It promotes the development of exploratory behavior - Mary Ainsworth (1979) emphasizes that an attachment object serves as a secure base for exploration—a point of safety from which an infant can feel free to venture away 4. phase of multiple attachments period when infants are forming attachments to companions other than their primary attachment object. Theories of Attachment Psychoanalytic - Freud, young infants are ―oral‖ creatures who derive satisfaction from sucking and mouthing objects and should be attracted to any person who provides oral pleasure. Because it is usually mothers who ―pleasure‖ oral infants by feeding them, it seemed logical to Freud that the mother would become the baby’s primary object of security and affection - Erik Erikson also believed that a mother’s feeding practices will influence the strength or security of her infant’s attachment - claimed that a mother’s overall responsiveness to all her child’s needs is more important than feeding itself - caregiver who consistently responds to an infant’s needs will foster the infant’s sense of trust in other people, whereas unresponsive or inconsistent caregiving breeds mistrust . Learning Theory - assumed that infants will become attached to persons who feed them and gratify their needs -thought important for 2 reasons: 1. it should elicit positive responses from a contented infant (smiles, coos) that are likely to increase a caregiver’s affection for the baby 2. feeding is often an occasion when mothers can provide an infant with many comforts —food, warmth, tender touches, soft reassuring vocalizations, changes in scenery, and even a dry diaper (if necessary)—all in one sitting -over time, infant associated pleasurable outcomes with mother, who becomes secondary reinforcer secondary reinforcer an initially neutral stimulus that acquires reinforcement value by virtue of its repeated association with other reinforcing stimuli. 1959, Harry Harlow and Robert Zimmerman: -study designed to compare the importance of feeding and tactile stimulation for the development of attachments in infant monkeys - monkeys were separated from their mothers in the first day of life and reared for the next 165 days by two surrogate mothers - each surrogate mother had a face and well-proportioned body constructed of wire. However, the body of one surrogate (the ―cloth mother‖) was wrapped in foam rubber and covered with terry cloth. Half the infants were always fed by this warm, comfortable cloth mother, the remaining half by the rather uncomfortable ―wire mother.‖ - question was simple: Would these infants become attached to the ―mother‖ who fed them, or would they instead prefer the soft, cuddly terry cloth mother? - Even if fed by the wire mother, infants clearly preferred the cloth mother, spending more than 15 hours a day clutching her, compared with only an hour or so (mostly at mealtimes) with the wire mother - all infants ran directly to the cloth mother when they were frightened by such novel stimuli as marching toy bears -study implies contact comfort: more powerful contributor of attachment than feeding or hunger reduction Current Views - feeding is not the primary contributor to attachments in either monkeys or humans, learning theorists continued to argue that reinforcement is the mechanism responsible for emotional attachments - infants will be attracted to any individual who is quick to respond to all their needs and who provides them with a variety of pleasant or rewarding experiences - two aspects of a mother’s behavior that predicted the character of her infant’s attachment to her were her responsiveness to the infant’s behavior and the total amount of stimulation that she provided Cognitive Development Theory - ability to form attachments depends in part on the infant’s level of cognitive development - must be able to discriminate familiar companions from strangers - must also recognize that familiar companions have a ―permanence‖ about them (object permanence), for it would be difficult indeed to form a stable relationship with a person who ceases to exist whenever she passes from view - attachments first emerge at age 7–9 months—precisely the time when infants are entering Piaget’s fourth sensorimotor substage, the point at which they first begin to search for and find objects that they’ve seen someone hide from them Ethological Theory: Bowlby - interesting explanation for emotional attachments that has strong evolutionary overtones - all species, including human beings, are born with a number of innate behavioral tendencies that have in some way contributed to the survival of the species over the course of evolution. - John Bowlby (1969, 1980), who was originally a proponent of Freudian psychoanalytic theory, came to believe that many of these built-in behaviors are specifically designed to promote attachments between infants and their caregivers -adaptive to form attachments - ethologists would argue that the long-range purpose of the primary attachment is to permit members of each successive generation to survive and live to reproduce Origins of Ethological Viewpoint -prompted by animal research - Konrad Lorenz reported that very young goslings would follow almost any moving object—their mothers, a duck, or even a human being—a behavior he labeled imprinting imprinting an innate or instinctual form of learning in which the young of certain species will follow and become attached to moving objects (usually their mothers). - also noted that (1) imprinting is automatic—young fowl do not have to be taught to follow; (2) imprinting occurs only within a narrowly delimited critical period after the bird has hatched; and (3) imprinting is irreversible—once the bird begins to follow a particular object, it will remain attached to it - concluded that imprinting was an adaptive response - survive if they follow their mothers so that they are led to food and afforded protection -those that wander die over the course of many, many generations, then, the imprinting response eventually became an inborn, preadapted characteristic that attaches a young fowl to its mother, thereby increasing its chances of survival -preadapted characteristic an innate attribute that is a product of evolution and serves some function that increases the chances of survival for the individual and the species. Attachment in Humans Infants of many species display the ―kewpie-doll‖ effect that makes them appear lovable and elicits caregivers’ attention. - a smiling infant can reinforce caregiving activities and thereby increase the likelihood that parents or other nearby companions will want to attend to this happy little person in the future. - Bowlby insists that under normal circumstances, adults are just as biologically predisposed to respond favorably to a baby’s signals as the baby is to emit them - In sum, human infants and their caregivers are said to have evolved in ways that predispose them to respond favorably to each other and form close attachments, thus enabling infants (and ultimately, the species) to survive - Bowlby believes that human beings are biologically prepared to form close attachments, he also stresses that secure emotional bonds will not develop unless each participant has learned how to respond appropriately to the behavior of the other Assessing Attachment Security - widely used technique for measuring the quality of attachments that 1- to 2-year- olds have established with their mothers or other caregivers is Mary Ainsworth’s Strange Situation procedure - Strange Situation consists of a series of eight episodes 1. Experimenter introduces parent and baby to playroom and leaves. 2. Parent sits while baby plays. Parent as a secure base 3. Stranger enters, sits, and talks to parent. Stranger anxiety 4. Parent leaves, stranger offers comfort if Separation anxiety the baby is upset. 5. Parent returns, greets baby, and offers comfort Reunion behaviors if baby is upset. Stranger leaves. 6. Parent leaves room. Separation anxiety 7. Stranger enters and offers comfort. Ability to be soothed by stranger 8. Parent returns, greets baby, offers comfort if Reunion behaviors necessary, and tries to interest baby in toys. characterization of attachment: 1. Secure attachment. About 60–65 percent of l-year-old American infants fall into this category. The securely attached infant actively explores while alone with the mother and may be visibly upset by separations. secure attachment an infant/caregiver bond in which the child welcomes contact with a close companion and uses this person as a secure base from which to explore the environment. 2. Resistant attachment. About 10 percent of 1-year-olds show this type of ―insecure‖ attachment. These infants try to stay close to their mothers but explore very little while she is present. resistant attachment an insecure infant/caregiver bond characterized by strong separation protest and a tendency of the child to remain near but resist contact initiated by the caregiver, particularly after a separation. 3. Avoidant attachment. These infants (about 20 percent of l-year-olds) also display an ―insecure‖ attachment. They often show little distress when separated from the mother and will generally turn away from and may continue to ignore their mothers, even when she tries to gain their attention . avoidant attachment an insecure infant/caregiver bond characterized by little separation protest and a tendency of the child to avoid or ignore the caregiver. 4. Disorganized/disoriented attachment. This recently discovered attachment pattern characterizes the 5–15 percent of American infants who are most stressed by the Strange Situation and who seem to be the most insecure - When reunited with their mothers, these infants may cringe and look fearful, freeze, or curl up on the floor; or they may move closer but then abruptly move away as the mother draws near disorganized/disoriented attachment an insecure infant/caregiver bond characterized by the infant’s dazed appearance on reunion or a tendency to first seek and then abruptly avoid the caregiver. criticisms: -measurement should be continuous instead of discrete groups -exaggerated emotional reactions that may not be characteristic of the infant -not useful for children older than 2 Other Measurements Attachment Q-set (AQS), is appropriate for use with 1- to 5- year-olds. Attachment Q-set alterative method of assessing attachment security that is based on observations of the child’s attachment-related behaviors at home; can be used with infants, toddlers, and preschool children. Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), in which respondents are questioned extensively about their recollections and feelings about their early childhood relationships with parents, and based on their reports, are classified as having secure, avoidant/dismissing, resistant/ preoccupied, or unresolved/disoriented mental representations of attachment relationships Adult Attachment Interview clinical interview used with adolescents and adults to tap respondents’ memories of their childhood relationships with parents in order to assess the character of respondents’ attachment representations. Cultural Variations in Attachment - Compared to American mothers, Japanese mothers have much more close contact with their infants and strive to anticipate all their babies’ needs, rather than simply reacting to a needy baby’s cries - Japanese mothers emphasize social routines more and exploration less than American mothers do, and they seek to promote the infant’s Amae Amae Japanese term that refers to an infant’s feeling of total dependence on his or her mother and presumption of the mother’s love and indulgence. - Japanese infants are upset by separations and will cling to their mothers on reunion— behaviors that cause some of them to be classified as insecurely attached in the Strange Situation -but it is considered a good and adaptive thing for the infant -Japanese children learn to become interdependent by accommodating to others’ needs, cooperating, and working toward the accomplishment of group goals -a healthy, secure attachment in Western societies is one in which infants have been encouraged to separate themselves from their watchful and protective caregivers to explore the environment, become independent and autonomous, and pursue mostly individual goals Factors that Influence Attachment Security Mary Ainsworth (1979) caregiving hypothesis Ainsworth’s notion that the type of attachment an infant develops with a particular caregiver depends primarily on the kind of caregiving he has received from that person. - securely attached infants are thought to be sensitive, responsive caregivers from the very beginning - mothers of securely attached infants and toddlers are insightful; that is, they understand the causes of the child’s emotions and the motives underlying his behavior— abilities that help them to respond in an appropriate way to his needs and concerns insightfulness caregiver capacity to understand an infant’s motives, emotions, and behaviors and to take them into account when responding to the infant; thought to be an important contributor to sensitive caregiving - if a caregiver has: 1. a positive attitude toward her baby; 2. understands, appreciates, and is sensitive to his needs and goals; 3. has established interactional synchrony with him; 4. and provides ample stimulation and emotional support, -the infant will often derive comfort and pleasure from their interactions and is lik
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