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Chapter 6

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Family Studies
FMST 210
Maria Weatherby

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? (Note: See definitions in the margin, as the phrasing in the paragraph is poor.) - Affectionate bond: typically describing a parent’s bond to a child - Parent ----> child - Relatively long-enduring tie in which the partner is important as a unique individual and is interchangeable with non other (desire to maintain closeness to the partner) - Attachment: security (a person’s sense of security is bound up in the relationship) - Child ----> parent - Person becomes a “safe base” from which the explore the rest of the world (b) Define reactive attachment disorder. - Reactive attachment disorder: a disorder that appears to prevent a child from forming close social relationships 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? - An adopted child may have different temperament and personality (inherited from the biological parents) that don’t mesh with the adopted parents: may give rise to problems. (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 tended to have more psychological/motor-behavioral problems - These became more serious the longer they were in orphanage (c) What did Lucy LeMare’s (2001) research with Romanian orphans find? - Romanian orphans showed significantly more difficulties that comparable Canadian-born or early adopted-Romanian children - Lower IQs, academic achievement - More difficulties with attention, learning, peer relationships - However, the Romanian orphans were just as well liked as their peers II. Attachment A. The Parents’ Attachment to the Infant 3. (a) Define synchrony: a mutual, interlocking pattern of attachment behaviors shared by a parent and a child. (b) Identify the parental behaviours that are similar between fathers and mothers. - Bonds with the infant depend more on development of synchrony that contact immediately after birth - Fathers have same repertoire of attachment behaviors as mothers (c) Identify the parental behaviours that are different between fathers and mothers. - Fathers: - Spend more time playing with baby - Less consistent than mothers in responding to infant cues (sometimes reacting, sometimes not) - Mothers: - More routine caregiving - More talking and smiling with baby 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. - Parents help children regulate emotions - “Affect” = emotion - “Dys” = dysfunctional regulation (it’s intensified) - Problematic emotion regulation - Pattern of affect dysregulation is more common in infant-mother pairs when the mother displays low levels of sensitivity to infant’s needs and infant is insecurely attached - Quality of emotional give-and-take in interactions between infant and caregivers is important to child’s ability to control emotions (anger, 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): when a caregiver is able and willing to form an emotional attachment to the infant - Contingent responsiveness: responsiveness is dependent/contingent upon infant cueing - Being responsive without cueing is a problem (parents who hover) (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: parents reject infant or regularly withdraw contact from infant or parents are overly intrusive/overly stimulating (ii) ambivalent patterns of attachment (which is the same as the “anxious” type): primary caregiver is inconsistently/unreliably available to child (iii) disorganized/disoriented patterns of attachment (which is a fourth type of attachment identified by more contemporary researchers – Main and Solomon, 1990 – Ainsworth introduced the three types of attachment in 1978): child has been abused or child is part of a family in which the parent had unresolved trauma in his/her own childhood (abuse, parent’s early death) ii. Marital Status and SES 6. (a) How does age influence the attachment process? - Older parents tend to be married (rather than cohabiting or single) - Married couples tend to be better off financially - Older mothers display more sensitive caregiving behaviors than teenagers - (Teenage mothers tend to have less education, fewer economic resources) (b) How does marital conflict influence the attachment process? - 6-month-olds who are exposed to parental arguments (esp. verbal aggression) are more likely to display signs of emotional withdrawal - Emotional withdrawal interferes with synchrony (lessening chances of developing a secure attachment to 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 - Secure attachments: more sociable, more positive in their behavior toward friends and siblings, less clingy/dependent on teachers, less aggressive/disruptive, more empathetic, more emotionally mature in their interactions in school/settings outside home (b) adolescence - Secure attachments: more socially skilled, more intimate friendships, more likely to be rated as leaders, higher self- esteem, better grades - Insecure attachments (esp. avoidant attachment): less positive/supportive friendships, more likely to become sexually active early (and riskier sex) (c) adulthood - Attachment history can lead to sexual dysfunction in adult males (quality of attachment in infancy predicted sexual dysfunction in adulthood better than history of sexual abuse) - Adult internal model of attachment affects parenting behaviors/attitudes 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: define them (i) easy (40% infants): a predisposition to approaching new events positively, displaying predictable sleeping/eating cycles, being generally happy, adjusting easily to change (ii) difficult (10% infants): a predisposition for irregular sleeping/eating cycles, emotional negativity, irritability, resistance to change (iii) slow-to-warm-up (15% infants): a predisposition for inactivity and turning away from/adjusting slowly to unfamiliar people/new experiences, display mild signs of negativity and discomfort (b) Contemporary theories of temperament suggest there are five traits or dimensions in infancy: (i) activity level: an infant’s tendency either to move often and vigorously or to remain passive or immobile (ii) approach/positive emotionality: tendency to move toward rather than away from new people/things/objects, usually accompanied by a positive emotion (iii) inhibition: a tendency to respond with fear or withdrawal to new people/situations/objects (iv) negative emotionality: a tendency to respond to frustrating circumstances with anger, fussing, loudness, irritability (v) effortful control/task persistence: ability to stay focused and 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 huma
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