AQA A Psychology A2 Relationships (Influence of Childhood on Adult Relationships) Revision Notes


HideShow resource information
Preview of AQA A Psychology A2 Relationships (Influence of Childhood on Adult Relationships) Revision Notes

First 428 words of the document:

Influence of Childhood on Adult Relationships
Childhood Experiences:
Parent-child relationships:
It has been claimed that what we experience as romantic love in adulthood is integrated by 3
behavioural systems acquired in infancy:
1) Attachment:-
This is related to the concept of the Internal Working Model. According to Bowlby,
later relationships are likely to be a continuation of early attachment styles (secure or
insecure) because the primary attachment figure promotes an internal working
model of relationships, leading the infant to expect the same behaviour in later
2) Caregiving:-
Knowledge about how someone cares for others, which is learned by observing the
behaviour of the primary attachment figure.
3) Sexuality:-
Also learned according to early attachment e.g. Individuals who suffered from
avoidant attachment are more likely to believe that sex without love is pleasurable.
The relationship between attachment style and later adult relationships has been
demonstrated in a number of studies. However, it could be that an individual's attachment
type is determined by the current relationship they are in, which is why happily married
couples are secure.
Attachment theory suggests that some relationship experiences may alter attachment
Interaction with peers:
Research has shown that children also learn with their interaction with other children. The way
a child thinks about himself and others is partially determined by specific experiences which
then become internalised. Therefore, children may develop a sense of their own value which
can determine how they approach adult relationships.
Gender differences have been found in studies:
However, it has been claimed that sex differences have been over-emphasised, and that
many similarities tend to be overlooked.
Adolescent Experiences:
Parent-child relationships:
There is evidence that attachment processes also shape adolescent relationships. Thus,
adolescents acquire relationship experience with each relationship affecting the next.
Formal operational thinking allows adolescents to view their attachment relationships more
objectively. Comparing relationships with parents, to hypothetical ideals. This comparison
may lead to the conclusion that the parents are lacking in meeting the current attachment
needs of the adolescent, or that other relationships may meet their attachment needs better
than the current relationships with parents.
Breaking free from parental control may be important in adolescent development. But
research has shown that autonomy is stronger and healthier when the close relationship with
parents is continued. This has been called `connectedness.'

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Influence of Childhood on Adult Relationships
Interaction with Peers:
Romantic relationships serve a number of purposes;
They help to achieve the goal of separation from parents. The shift in attachment
focus from parents to peers allows the adolescent to redirect interpersonal energy
towards their romantic partner.
It allows the adolescent to gain an emotional and physical intimacy which is different
from that experienced by parents.
This suggests that some dating in adolescence is beneficial for adult relationship
quality, but too much can be maladaptive.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all resources »