A level - Attachment

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  • Created by: Make7M
  • Created on: 06-03-18 18:57
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  • Attachment
    • Close emotional bond between 2 individuals, which see each other as essential for their own emotional security
    • Caregiver-infant interactions
      • Reciprocity
        • Response to each others signals (take turns)
        • From birth, babies and carers spend time through intense and pleasurable interactions
          • Babies have periodic 'alert phases', signal they are ready for interaction
            • Feldman and Eidelman (2007) Mothers pick up on 2/3 of these alerts
        • At 3 months becomes more frequent, requiring close attention to verbal signs and facial expressions
          • Traditionally babies have a 'passive role' (receiving care), however they have an 'active role' (can initiate interactions, and take turns)
            • Brazleton (1975) descirbes as 'dance' as each partner responds to each others moves
      • Interactional synchrony
        • Meltzoff and Moore (1977) observed interactional synchrony in babies as young as 2 weeks
          • Adult displayed 1 of 3 facial expressions, child's response was filmed and identified by independent observers, association found between adults expression and babies response
        • Reflect the actions and emotions of one another in a synchronised way (same time)
        • Isabella (1989) observed 30 mothers and babies together, assessing degree of synchrony, and assessed quality of mother-infant attachement
          • Higher level of synchrony associated with better mother infant attachment
      • Helps create attachment
      • Evaluation
        • Controleld procedures, both filmed
          • Behaviour recorded in detail, to be later analysed
            • Ensures validity
        • Difficult to understand what the baby means by these interactions
          • Cannot tell if the imitation is deliberate or not
            • Therefore not certain that interactions have a special meaning
        • Observations do not tell us the purpose of synchrony and reciprocity
          • Able to observe and define these terms reliably, but this is not useful as it does not tell us their purpose
            • However there is evidence that they are helpful in the development of an attachment
        • Unethical, socially sensitive
          • Isabella found high level of synchrony associated with better quality mother infant attachment
            • Some mothers may be considered a 'bad mother', or made feel guilty for returning to work
    • Schaffer's stages of attachment
      • Schaffer and Emerson (1964) aimed to investigate formation of early attachments, age they developed, emotional intensity and who directed at
      • 31 male 29 female (60 babies) Glasgow, mostly skilled working families
        • Visited at home, every month for a year, then at 18 months
          • Questions asked about babies separation and stranger anxiety, to measure attachment
      • Babies 25-32 weeks old, 50% showed separation anxiety, usually towards mother (specific attachment)
        • Caregiver most interactive and sensitive to infant signals and facial expressions
          • At 40 weeks, 80% had specific attachment, 30% displayed multiple attachment
      • Asocial stage (first few weeks)
        • Indiscriminate attachment  (2-7 months)
          • Specific attachment (from 7 months)
            • Multiple attachment (by age 1)
              • After they show attachment to one person, they extend this to other adults
                • Referred to as 'Secondary attachment'
                  • In study only 29% had secondary attachment within a month of forming a primary (specific) attachment
            • Majority display stranger or separation anxiety
              • Specific attachment formed with 'primary attachment figure'
                • Person who shows most intimacy (not spends most time)
          • Display more observable social behaviour
            • Do not usually show stranger or separation anxiety
              • Attachment is 'indiscriminate' not directed toward any 1 person
        • Recognise and form bonds with carers
          • Behaviour towards inanimate objects and humans is similar
            • Preference for familiar adults (more easily calmed)
        • Evaluation
          • Conflicting evidence
            • Not clear when multiple attachment formed
              • Bowlby (1969) states babies form attachment to single main carer before they become capable of developing multiple attachments
                • Especially in collectivist cultures, where multiple attachments are the norm
          • Measuring attachment
            • Just because  a baby gets distressed when an individual leaves the room, does not mean the individual is a 'true' attachment figure
              • Bowlby (1969) identified that children have playmates as well as attachment figures, they may get distressed when they leave, does not signify attachment
                • Their observations do not let us distinguish between behaviour showed towards attachment figures and playmates
          • Problem studying asocial stage
            • The first few weeks of life described as 'asocial stage', although important interactions take place in those weeks
              • Young babies have poor coordination (immobile) therefore difficult to make any judgments based on observations of their behaviour
                • Therefore evidence cannot be relied on
      • Evaluation
        • Strength - carried out longitudinally
          • Children were followed-up and observed regularly
            • Internal validity, no confounding variable of individual differences
        • Good external validity
          • Carried out in the families own home
            • Children were observed by their parents,and then reported to the observers, behaviour more naturally occuring
        • Limited sample
          • From same location, social class and carried out 50 years ago
            • Child-rearing (bringing up) practices vary from one culture to another and over time, therefore cannot be generalised
    • Multiple attachments and Role of the father
      • Less likely to be primary attachment
        • Not psychologically equipped  - lack emotional sensitivity that women offer
          • Oestrogen responsible for caring behaviour in mothers
            • Sex stereotypes affect male behaviour, it is seen as feminine to be sensitive to the need of others
      • Evidence for the role of the father
        • Grossman (2002) carried out longitudinal study, looking at parents behaviour and its correlation to quality of child attachment in their teens
          • Found father not related to childs attachment in adolescence
            • However, quality of play related to father - suggested fathers have different role - play and simulation
        • Field (1989) Filmed face-to-face interactions between 4 month old babies and primary care-giver mothers, secondary care-giver fathers, and primary care-giver fathers
          • Primary fathers, like mothers - spend more time smiling, imitating and holding babies
            • Fathers can be more nurturing, key is level of responsiveness not gender
          • Fathers can be primary caregivers, taking the usual roles of the mother
    • Animal studies
      • Harlow's importance of comfort contact
        • Observed, that newborns left in a cage usually died left alone, unless given soft cloth to cuddle
        • Tested idea that soft objects aid the role of a mother
          • Reared 16 baby monkeys, with two wire model 'mothers'
            • In one condition, milk was dispensed by a plain wire mother, in the second condition milk was dispensed from a cloth-covered mother
              • Found that monkeys preferred the cloth mother, even if it did not dispense milk
                • Shows, comfort contact more important to monkeys than food
        • Maternally deprived monkeys as adults
          • Followed monkeys who had been deprived of a 'real' mother into adulthood, to see if it had a permanent effect
            • Found that monkeys reared only with a wire mother were most dysfunctional, more aggressive, less sociable, bred less. As mothers, they neglected their young, some attacked their young and others even killed them
        • Concluded a critical period, a mother figure had to be introduced within 90 days for an attachment for form
          • After this time, damage done by early deprivation was irreversible
        • Evaluation
          • Research more valuable, used monkeys, more biologically similar
          • Applications - help social workers understand risk factors of child neglect and abuse, so they may intervene to prevent it
            • Howe (1998)  Information can also be sued to understand importance of proper attachment figures for baby monkeys in zoos
          • Unethical - 16 baby monkeys had permanent effects, not protected from harm, no right to withdraw
            • Important research, believes attachment formed through CC, baby associates mum with food and pleasure
      • Loren'z imprinting
        • Randomly divided a clutch of goose eggs
          • Half hatched with mother (natural environment), the other half hatched in an incubator, were the first moving object they saw was Lorenz
            • Each group followed their 'parent', when mixed up together they continued to follow their 'parent'
              • Found, depending on the species, they have a critical period of a few hrs after birth
                • If imprinting did not occur during that time, they will not attach themselves to a mother figure
        • Sexual imprinting
          • Also found, birds that imprinted on a human would later display courtship towards humans
        • Case study, peacock reared in reptile house in zoo, first thing they saw as they hatched was tortoises
        • Evaluation
          • Differences in attachments between birds and mammals, mammalian mothers show more emotional attachment to young
            • Therefore cannot generalise research to humans
          • Lorenz's observations have been questioned, 'imprinting has permanent effect on mating behaviour'
            • Guiton (1966) found, chicks that imprint on yellow washing up gloves, would try to mate with them, but with experience they learnt to prefer maiting with other chickens
              • Not permanent, reduces validity
      • Ethical and practical reasons
    • Explanations to attachment
      • Bowlby's Theory
        • Evolutionary explanation, survival advantage, attachment ensures young stay close to care givers protecting them from harm
        • Adaptive - survival, protection, food, warmth
          • Social Releasers - unlock innate tendency to want to look after something 'cute'
            • Critical Period - time frame for an attachment to be formed (2 years) before permanent psychologia effects occur
              • Monotropy - one primary attachment (usually mother) responds best to baby's signals
                • Internal Working Model - current relationship with parents determines future relationships
        • Evaluation
          • Schaffer and Emerson's research contradicts monotropy
            • Found babies form a primary attachment, and 30% had a secondary attachment shortly after
          • Lorenz's research supports critical period
            • Found goslings have a critical period of a few hrs
              • However, cant generalise to humans
          • Monotropy socially sensitive
            • Caregiver considered as bad parent, made feel guilty
              • Father made feel bad, as cant make attachment
      • Learning theory
        • CC - learning through association
          • UCS Food
            • NS Mother
              • UCS Food + NS Mother
                • CS Mother
                  • CR Baby happy
                • UCS Baby hapcy
              • No response
            • UCR Baby happy
        • OC - learnt through consequences
          • Dollard and Miller (1950) explained attachment through OC and drive reduction theory
            • A 'drive' - something that motivates certain behaviour to reduce discomfort (crying = mom giving food)
              • Behaviour that leads to drive reduction = positive reinforcement, therefore more likely to repeat behaviour as it is rewarding
          • Food = primary reinforcer, as it reduces drive
            • Child associates food supplier with drive reduction, parent = secondary reinforcer
              • Attachment is formed as they seek the person who supplies the food
        • Evaluation
          • Harlow's research contradicts theory
            • As monkeys preferred the cloth mother, even if it did not dispense milk
              • Therefore does not fully explain attachment
          • Theory based on animal research
            • Behaviorists believe animals have same basic processes as those in humans
              • Also use high control and lab settings
                • However, there are ethical concerns, and there is a risk that they are measuring stress
          • Humans have empathy and emotional characteristics unlike other animals
            • Therefore we have to infer on their behaviour through obervations, this is mechanisitc, meaning less reliable
    • Measuring attachment
      • Strange Situation by Mary Ainsworth (1969) assess quality of child's attachment to a caregiver
        • Psychologist observerved infants through a two-way mirror
        • Infants were judged on:
          • Proximity seeking
            • Exploration and secure-base behaviour
              • Stranger anxiety
                • Separation anxiety
                  • Response to reunion
        • 1. Child encouraged to explore
          • 2. Stranger enters and attempts to interact with child
            • 3. Caregiver leaves, leaving child with stranger
              • 4. Caregiver returns, stranger leaves
                • 5. Caregiver leaves, child alone
                  • 6. Stranger returns
                    • 7. Caregiver returns
        • Secure
          • Insecure avoidant
            • Insecure resistant
        • Evaluation
        • Cultural variations
          • Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg
          • Simonella (2014)
          • Jin (2012)
          • Evaluation
    • Bowlbys Theory of maternal deprivation

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