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Chapter 6

TEXTBOOK Chapter 6 - Emotional Development and Attachment

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Elizabeth Johnson

Lesson 6 Emotional Development and  Attachment EARLY EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT_________________________________________________ • Emotions are subjective reactions to the environment, usually accompanied by some form of physiological arousal and expressed in some form of behaviour. Why are Emotions Important? • Infants are emotional. Smiling and laughter are the first expression of pleasure o Infants show preferences for human faces. Duchenne smiles are special smiles an infant makes for their mother. o Not all babies smile with equal frequency; individual, cultural, and sex differences exist (ex. girls smile more than boys). Theoretical perspectives on emotional development • Genetic-maturational perspective: emotions are best seen as products of biological factors. o Twin research shows that identical twins show more of a similarity in emotions than fraternal twins, supporting the biological basis of emotion. • Learning perspective: Individual emotional expression result from individual experiences o Experiences elicit and reinforce responses • Functionalist perspective: emotions serve to help us achieve our goals and adapt to our environment o Emotional signals (social cues) guide behaviours DEVELOPMENT OF PRIMARY EMOTIONS____________________________________________ Positive Primary Emotions: Smiling and Laughter • Reflex smiles are a newborn’s smile, which appears to reflect some internal stimulus, such as a change in the infant’s level of arousal, rather than an external stimulus, such as another person’s behaviour. • Primary emotions emerge early in life and don’t require introspection (self-analysis). Negative Primary Emotions: Fear, anger, and Sadness • Stranger distress is a fear of strangers that typically emerges in infants around the age of 9 months. • Social referencing is the process of reading emotional cues in others to help determine how to act in an uncertain situation. Infants use social referencing to determine whether an environment is safe for them by referring to their caretaker. • Separation protest is an infant’s distress reaction to being separated from their mother, which typically peaks at about 15 months of age. DEVELOPMENT OF SECONDARY EMOTIONS__________________________________________ • Secondary emotions require the ability to differentiate and integrate the roles of multiple factors in a situation, and often include the role of personal responsibility. Secondary emotions usually emerge in infants that are 2 years old. • Secondary emotions include embarrassment, shame, guilt, envy, and pride. These emotions are self-evaluative and are initially only expressed when an adult is present. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN EMOTIONS____________________________________________ • Sociable infants are less wary around strangers, while introverted infants tend to be shy and get anxious easily. RECOGNIZING EMOTIONS IN OTHERS_______________________________________________ • By 3 months of age, they are able to discriminate between different emotions. By 5-7 months, they are able to categorize emotions into positive or negative. Children are able to recognize positive primary emotions earlier than negative ones. • In general, children are more proficient at producing emotions than recognizing them. The two abilities are positively correlated. Children who are skilled at producing emotions are typically skilled at recognizing them, and vice versa. EMOTIONAL REGULATION AND DISPLAY RULES_______________________________________ • Emotional display rules are rules that indictate which emotions one may appropriately display in a particular situation. • Culture plays an important role in how children appraise a situation, communicate emotions, and act on their feelings. HOW CHILDREN THINK ABOUT EMOTIONS___________________________________________ Matching Emotions to Situations: • An emotional script is a complex scheme that enables a child to identify the emotional reaction that is likely to accompany a particular sort of event. • 5 year olds only understand situations that lead to observable emotions that have visible facial expressions (such as happiness, sadness, and anger). By 7, children are able to understand situations that lead to secondary emotions. Multiple Emotions, Multiple Causes • 4-6 year olds do not acknowledge that you can have more than one emotion at a time. By 6-8, children begin to understand that they can have two emotions at the same time, and by the age of 11, children are able to recognize that you can have conflicting emotions. THE FAMILY’S ROLE IN EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT___________________________________ • There are 3 days in which the family can influence a child’s emotional expressiveness: o 1. Family members’ own emotional expressiveness can serve as a model for children o 2. Parents’ and siblings’ specific reactions can encourage/discourage certain patterns of a child’s emotional expressiveness o 3. Parents often act as emotional coaches by talking about emotions and exploring the child’s understanding of their own emotions and others’ emotions. THE DEVELOPMENT OF ATTACHMENT______________________________________________ • Attachment is a strong emotional bond that forms between an infant and caregiver that emerges over the first 6-8 months in a consistent series of steps: o 1. Newborns display a preference for humans over inanimate objects o 2. Soon after birth infants learn to discriminate familiar people from unfamiliar ones o 3. Babies develop att
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