ATTACHMENT - Caregiver-infant interactions in humans

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  • Caregiver-infant interactions in humans
    • 5 main interactions
      • Body Contact
        • physical interactions between career and infant help to form attachment bond, especially after birth
        • Klaus and Kennel (1976) - increased body contact resulted in stronger bond
          • Durkin (1995) - results due to increased attention from poor / single mothers than increased body contact
      • Mimicking
        • innate ability to imitate caregiver's facial expressions
        • innate = suggest biological device to aid attachment formation
        • Melzoff and Moore (1977) - 2/3 week old babies mimicked adults facial expressions. Innate ability
      • Caregiverese
        • adults use high-pitched (song-like in nature), slow and repetitive voices
        • aids communication which serves to strengthen bond
        • Papousek (1991) - caregiverese is cross cultural. Used in America, China and Germany
        • used by all adults, not just those who have an attachment with baby
      • Interactional Synchrony
        • infants will move their bodies in tune with rhythm of carers' spoken language
        • turn-taking, two-way vocal convo
        • not found in all cultures - not vital to attachment forming?
      • Reciprocity
        • interactions between infant and carer result in mutual behaviour
        • both parties can produce a response from one another
    • Social Releases
      • innate physical features of a child that makes us want to interact with them
        • big eyes compared to head size
        • softness (chubby cheeks)
        • round face, small nose, hands and feet
        • BEHAVIOURISM: funny noises, quick and flaying movements
      • child characters in cartoons have soc.rels for child to develop attachment with them. Evil characters are opposite to tell child not to create bond
      • features make us want to create bond with child
      • parental features: warm body, soft breast and face - attracts baby to parent
    • Multiple Attachments
      • def: the formation of emotional bonds with many carers
      • Bowlby believed children had one main prime attachment figure that was more important than others
      • Rutter (1995) - claimed all attachment were as important as each other
      • Geiger (1996) - diff attachs formed to diff people for diff reasons. Eg. mother for love and care, father for play
    • Role of the Father
      • common view: not as important as mother's role
        • is important but for diff things: play, excitement, adventure etc
      • 4 factors
        • Degree of Sensitivity
          • how sensitive they are to child's needs
          • arguably, mothers have more sensitive responsiveness - recognising and responding to infant's needs
          • diff men have diff sensitive responsiveness levels - males can quickly assume this role in place of main caregiver
          • Hrdy (1999) - fathers found it harder than mothers to detect low levels of distress
        • Type of attachment with own parents
          • recreation of attachment that the father had with his own parents onto his child
          • Bernier and Miljkovitch (2009) - single-parent father' attachs with own children aged 4-6 was similar to their own rel with parents
        • Marital Intimacy
          • amount of intimacy father has with his partner. Effects attach they have with child
          • Bernier (2009) - high levels of m.i = secure father-infant attachs, low m.i = insecure father-infant attachs
        • Supportive co-parenting
          • amount of support father gives to partner to help care for children
      • Evaluation
        • children with secure attachs to fathers have better rels with peers, less problem behaviours & better at regulating emotions. Illustrates positive influence fathers have on development of child
        • child without fathers: less well at school, high levels of risk taking and aggression (especially in boys). Suggests father can prevent negative outcomes
        • supportive fathers provide mothers with needed time away from childcare. Reduces stress and improves self-esteem of mums and quality of mum's rel with children
        • when fathers spend more time with children, children develop more secure attachs - more interaction = stronger bond
    • Anxieties
      • Separation Anxiety
        • infants become nervous when separated from caregiver(s)
      • Stranger Anxiety
        • infants become nervous when around anyone that they do not know, regardless if the main caregiver is there or not.
          • if they are there: less anxiety, but feel safe. If they aren't there: lots of anxiety, screaming, crying, etc.

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