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Chapter 11

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University of Toronto Scarborough
G Cupchik

Chapter 11 Individual Differences and Personality Emotion Regulation - Temper tantrums are most common in the second year. Physical aggression peaks at 24 42 months of age and declines steadily thereafter. - When children learn to speak, they can talk about what distresses them or angers them rather than communicating only through expressions and actions - Mobility also has an important effect: when infants begin to move and can start to satisfy some of their own desires, their need for an intense signaling system lessens - Regulation starts with the modulation of the expression of emotion (first fostered by caregiver and then gradually becomes internalized by the child: parent soothing child, infant becomes able to do that themselves) - Cichetti, Ganian and Barnett (1991) described states of emotion regulation. Failure at one stage has implications for subsequent stages. o 1) First months: task is to achieve stability in functioning (signalling distress and receiving comfort from caregiver. With repeated interactions, child learns during first year to inhibit certain expressions and soothe the self) o 2) End of first year: attachment to a caregiver. Mental representations are formed of interactions with caregiver (when, where, how she/he is available) Both child and caregiver regulate their emotions according to what can be expected from the other o 3) Development of the self-system and of self-regulation. Children begin to develop a notion of an autonomous self. Start to think about events, to find different ways of interpreting, to calm themselves with thought - What is emotion regulation? o Some researchers refer to individual differences in intensity, frequency, and duration of emotions. o It may also concern the balance of emotions displayed by the individual o Also used to refer to the processes involved in modifying emotional reactions: coping processes that lessen or augment the intensity of experience o Regulatory processes affect every stage of the emotion process: appraisal of event, evaluation of context, suppression of urges as well as selection and control of various kinds of Expression and action o Rydell, Berlin and Bohlin (2003) found that childrens emotionality and their skills of emotion regulation in the year before entering school predicted both prosocial behaviour and behaviour problems in the early school years o James Gross (2003): women viewed unpleasant clip. Was told to suppress emotions, respond naturally or reappraise situation. Women who were asked to suppress had increased blood pressure. Chapter 11 Individual Differences and Personality Successful regulation is not accomplished by suppression but by shifting attention and reappraisal o Childhood regulation, socialization, and responsiveness to parental discipline reappraisal means the child is being able to hold the relationship wit the parent as a high-level goal. Also affects adolescence. In later life, as people get older, their motivation increases to derive emotional meaning from life, rather than to expand emotional horizons Attachment - The Strange Situation and styles of attachment o Perhaps most developed and influential framework for thinking about how parent- child relations shape enduring patterns of emotionality o Bowlby (1971) saw attachment as an evolutionarily derived aspect of the parent-child relationship is activated when the experiences a threat o Mary Ainsworth (1978) developed a test of infants responses to a situation that was strange to them based on observations of infants emotional reactions to brief separations from and reunions with their caregivers Three different attachment styles 1) Securely attached: infants are distressed but can be comforted 2) Insecure attachment o Ambivalently attached: will be near caregivers upon return but will not be comforted, showing great deal of angry and resistant behaviours o Avoidantly attached: make no effort to interact when caregivers return 3) Disoriented/disorganized: Added by Main and Solomon (1986), disorientation and contradictory behaviours All attachment styles show emotionality and bias. Secure shows positive/negative/neutrality. Ambivalent shows more negative emotions such as anger. Avoidant infants show fewer emotions in general. In English-speaking countries with middle-class subjects: 65% secure, 15% ambivalent, 20% avoidant. In other countries, proportions are different Israel: high proportion of babies showed ambivalent style Germany: more avoidant, less encouraging of close bodily contactChapter 11 Individual Differences and Personality Japan: no avoidant babies Possible reasons for difference: some cultures may value early independence, frequency of separation from parents, expression of fear/sadness encouraged or discouraged - Internal working models of attachment o Bowlby: early emotional interactions with caregivers lead children to build internal working model of relationships. Mental model or set of beliefs of what to expect in intimate relationship. o Each intimate relationship leaves an imprint, becomes an element in the construction of selfhood, template of how to understand and act in intimate relationships subsequently o George, Kaplan and Main (1985) studied adults to see whether attachment styles persisted when they raised children of their own 1) Secure/autonomous: talks about childhood with balance 2) Preoccupied: still overwhelmed by traumatic childhood 3) Dismissing: distanced accounts, inability to recall events The babies of these pregnant women were then tested with Strange Situation
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