Evaluation (caregiver attachments)

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  • Caregiver-infant interactions evaluation
    • L: hard to know whats happening when observing infants
      • only observes hand movements and changes of expression
      • The imitation may not be conscious and deliberate
      • This means the behaviour we see may not have a special meaning
    • L: observations don't tell us the purpose of IS and Reciprocity
      • Feldman points out that synchrony and reciprocity simply describe behaviours that occur at the same time
      • They can be reliably observed but they don't tell us their purpose
        • However, there is some evidence that they are helpful in the development of attachment
          • Stress responses
          • Empathy
          • Language and moral development
    • L: research into mother/infant interactions is socially sensitive
      • Suggests that children may be disadvantaged by particular child rearing practices
      • Specifically, mothers who work shortly after a child is born restrict the opportunities for achieving IS
      • This suggests mothers should not return to work so soon, which has socially sensitive implications
    • S: Uses well controlled procedures
      • Usually filmed from multiple angles so that fine details can be analysed later
      • Babies don't know they are being observed (no change in behaviour)
        • High external validity
    • S: potential value to society
      • Crotwell: found that a 10 minute parent/child interaction therapy (PCIT) improved IS in 20 low income mothers and their preschool infants (compared to control group)
      • Suggests that research could lead to valuable methods for improving and developing mother/infant attachments


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