Developmental Psychology - Attachment

Mind map showing the main points of all of the developmental psychology module of unit 1 psychology for AQA A

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  • Developmental Psychology - Attachment
    • Explanations of Attachments
      • Social Learning Theory
        • Hay and Vespo found that parents:    - Act as role models             - Directly instruct children           - Socially facilitate (help child play with friends etc.)
        • Bandura  proposed that children learn through imitation of parent behaviour
        • Evaluation
          • Limitations:        - Same as learning theory (in terms of lack of consideration for emotion)      - Research is artificial and findings down to demand characteristics  - Social learning theory doesn't account for every factor (e.g: gender differences and genetic influences)
          • Strengths:        - Studies are reliable and establish cause and effect clearly    - Can be applied to explain many other types of behaviour (e.g: aggression)
      • Learning Theory
        • Classical Conditioning - associating certain things (being fed with presence of mother)
        • Operant Conditioning - Dollard and Miller found evidence that babies learn through reinforcement (when they are hungry they are fed - hunger goes away = negative reinforcement)
        • Evaluation
          • Limitations:      - Harlow's monkeys; importance of comfort overlooked       - Schaffer and Emerson found attachments were formed earlier              - Klaus and Kennell stress emotional bonding
          • Strengths:          - Successfully determines how attachments are formed        - Clear and well explained - Supported by  Pavlov's dogs experiment
      • Bowlby's Evolutionary Theory
        • Concepts
          • Social releasers (e.g: crying) and biological instincts (sucking and grasping)
          • Monotropy: Importance of one attachment which becomes an internal working model for future attachments (continuity hypothesis)
          • Safe base: where the baby is relaxed and secure
          • Temperamenthypothesis: children have certain personalities that vary
        • First 3 years is a critical period for monotropic attachment to develop
        • Evaluation
          • Strengths:         - Harlow's study supports the idea that we need to form attachments to survive          - Hazan and Shaver's study into child and adult attachments support the continuity hypothesis        - Koluchova study of Genie supports critical period idea
          • Limitations:         - Schaffer and Emerson's study found that monotropy was not always found    - Koluchova czech twin study suggests that effects of not forming a monotropic attachment not as bad as Bowlby's theory claims     - Zimmerman et al found dual attachments to be common: weakness of monotropy
    • Attachments
      • Maccoby's four characteristicsof an attachment: seeking proximity, distress on separation, joy on reunion and general orientation of behaviour
      • Konrad Lorenz  theory of imprinting (ethological approach)
      • Klaus and Kennell tested the effect of skin-to-skin contact and found that there was a sensitive period for bonding
      • Schaffer and Emerson's longitudinal study found that: attachments are usually formed between 25 and 32 weeks and that many infants attach to both parents/caregivers (dual attachments)
      • Schaffer and Emerson developed "Stages in the development of attachments": 1) Asocial stage 0-6weeks              2) Indiscriminateattachments 6weeks-6months        3) Specific attachments 7-11months 4) Multiple attachments
    • Types of Attachment
      • Mary Ainsworth's Three Types
        • Types Identified:        - Secure             - Insecure-ambivalent/resistant                     - Insecure-avoidant
        • The "Strange Situation" provided data and involves: 1) Parent entering room with child         2) Stranger entering           3) Parent leaving and stranger trying to comfort child                4) Parent returning
          • Evaluation
            • Limitations:         - Low ecological validity               - Relevant to culture and not representativeof all children     - Ethical issues: distress             - Lack of control over extraneous variables or the infant's temperament
            • Strengths:         - Reliable          - Easy to replicate          - High mundane realism              - Few demand characteristics(observation conducted in secret)                - Produces rich data, very efficient
        • Solomon and Maine later added a fourth attachment type:                   - Strength: Supports Ainsworth's research and her research lead to further study                  - Weakness: Ainsworth failed to consider something in her research
        • Ainsworth concluded that the cause of attachment type is the sensitivity of the mother . Others add that the temperament of the child is also important
      • Cultural Variations
        • Van  Ijzendoorn and Kroonenburg conducted a meta-analysis of 32 strange situation studies around the world
        • Individualistic cultures (e.g: Germany) have more insecure-avoidant
        • Collectivistic cultures (e.g: Japan) have more insecure-ambivalent/resistant
    • Disruption of Attachments
      • Short-term Separation
        • Factors which affect response to separation: age, attachment type, sex, quality of care when left, previous attachments and individual differences
        • Robertson and Robertson formed the PDD model:       - Protest (2-3hrs)                 - Despair (1 day)                   - Detachment
        • Evaluation
          • Limitations:          - Factors aren't considered (e.g: research has shown separation is easier when good quality care is provided)            - Many other factors affect how a child reacts (lack of control over extraneous variables)
          • Strengths:           - Findings have had important implications      - Supported by Bowlby's theory of the need for a healthy attachment        - Supported by Ainsworth's research which found similar responses to separation         - High ecological validity
      • Long-term separation (Deprivation)
        • Bowlby's study of 44 juvenile thieves: lead him to propose the maternal deprivation hypothesis where he found that depression and emotionally disturbed behaviour can occur from deprived childhood attachment
      • Privation
        • Longitudinal Studies (Institutionalisation)
          • Rutter et al studied Romanian orphans and found disinhibited attachment
          • Tizard and Hodgesconducted a similar study in the form of a natural experiment and found that children adopted rather than returned to their birth parents were more likely to form close attachments
            • Evaluation:         [] Strengths:         - Range of research methods (reliable)           - High ecological validity                   [] Limitations:      - High attrition rate                    - Ethical Issues                - Difficult to assess extent of privation
              • Rutter et al studied Romanian orphans and found disinhibited attachment
        • Reactive Attachment Disorder
          • Parker and Forest found that this condition is a permenant result of privation. Adults are unable to give or receive affection
            • Quinton et al studied women raised in institutions and found a "cycle of Privation" as they were more likely to experience problems raising children of their own
        • Case Studies
          • Koluchova - czech twins: Adopted by a loving family and made a full recovery with normal attachments
          • Curtiss - case of Genie:             Girl experienced neglect and privation, was found and recovered in institutions - never fully recovered or fully developed intellectually
    • Day Care
      • Types of day care:                   - Nursery         - Childminders     - Nanny/Au pair                    - Informal arrangements
      • Age
        • Bowlby's  maternal deprivation hypothesis suggests that 3 years would be a good age
        • Belsky suggested that before 12 months children were at a higher risk of forming insecure attachments
        • Ainsworth's research suggests that insecure attachments could result from separation for day care
        • Schaffer and Emerson's stages suggest that infants form discriminate attachments after 6 months (shouldn't be in day care at this point)
      • Quality of care
        • Scarr's factors:                  - Staff training - Appropriate activities           - good ratio     - adequate space                  - minimising staff turnover
      • Social Development
        • Day care being bad for social development
          • Belsky and Rovine found that children in day care were more likely to have an insecure attachment
          • Campbell, Lamb and Hwang found that long days make children frustrated and lead to negative peer relations but short days increase good social development
            • Day care being good for social development
              • Shea day care increases social development and decreases aggression
              • Clarke-Stewert et al found that children in day care were better at coping with social situations
              • Field et al found that children that attended day care more often (higher intensity) were more cooperative in peer relations
        • Day care being good for social development
          • Shea day care increases social development and decreases aggression
          • Clarke-Stewert et al found that children in day care were better at coping with social situations
          • Field et al found that children that attended day care more often (higher intensity) were more cooperative in peer relations

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