Child Social Development

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Unit 1 Psychology Revision Guide
(Child Social Development)
Early relationships
Attachment, and the role of caregiver-infant interactions in the development of attachment, including
reference to human and animal studies.
Function of attachment.
Secure and insecure attachment.
Measuring attachment.
Possible short-term and long-term consequences of privation and deprivation.
Romanian orphan studies: effects of institutionalisation, age-related benefits of adoption (Rutter et al).
The work of Bowlby, Schaffer, Ainsworth and van Ijzendoorn.
Later Relationships
The development of friendship in childhood and adolescence.
Age-related changes in friendship.
Sex differences in children's friendships.
Research into the causes and consequences of popularity and rejection.
Schaffer (1964): Attachment is `a long-enduring emotionally meaningful tie to a particular individual'. This
bond is usually characterised by a desire for closeness or proximity to a particular person and by distress when
the tie is broken.
Schaffer and Emerson (1964): Studies Glasgow infants from birth to 18 months, using interviews and
observations, they studied the stages in the development of attachment. The studies found that by 18
months most children had formed more than one attachment figure (as many as 5). Mother was the most
commonly selected, 75% also selected the father at 18 months. This show that babies do not normally
demonstrate monotropy and it is usual for a child to have several attachment figures. This is supported by
other studies such as Lamb (1977)
Stages of attachment:
Asocial (0-6 weeks): Babies respond a similar way to people and object, however the prefer to look at
human-like stimuli.
Diffuse (6 weeks- 6 months): Babies show no particular preference and will be comforted by anyone.
Single strong attachment (7-12 months) Babies show a strong preference for one individual and will show
a fear of strangers.
Multiple attachments (from 12 months): Babies will show attachment towards several figures by 18
months some infants have as many as 5 attachments.
4 examples of caregiver-infants interactions
Immediate physical contact: Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth important for the formation of a
bond. Klaus & Kennell (1976) a critical period after birth where mothers who hold their babies have a better
relationship compared to those who don't.
Imitation: Babies imitate and understand human facial expression which suggest that children are innately
social beings and active in relationship formation. Study: Melzoff & Moore (1977)
Interactional synchrony: Condon and Sander (1974) babies engage in `turn-talking'. Both parties can form a
response. Isabella at al (1989) mother-infant who were securely attached had shown more instances of
interactional synchrony in home obvs made in the 1st year. Murray & Trevarthen (1985) asked mothers to
hold a frozen face with their babies and infants became very upset and made deliberate attempts to draw the
mother back into the convo.

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Motherese: adapted talk for babies. Snow and Ferguson (1977) identified distinctive language patterns
demonstrated by adults conversing with young children. It helps draw children into conversation.
Animal studies
Humans aren't alone in their need for early social interaction.
Harlow (1965): Infant monkey
Aim: To determine the role of food and comfort on attachment by rearing baby monkeys in isolation.
Method: Rhesus monkeys were reared alone, in cages containing a pair of surrogate mothers, one
provided nourishment and the other provided comfort.…read more

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Method: Interviewed 44 teenagers who involved with criminal activity, and living with biological parents,
in order to assess whether they exhibited signs of affectionless psychopathy. Also interviewed parents to
see if the children had prolonged early separation. He matched them up with teens who'd be classified as
affectionless psychopaths with those who ad prolonged maternal deprivation. There was a control group
of non-delinquents.…read more

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Method : Van Ijzendoorn & Kroonenberg (1988) did not collect the data for this study, instead they
analysed data from other studies using a method called meta-analysis. Data from 32 studies in 8 different
countries was analysed. All the 32 studies used the strange situation procedure to study attachment.
Using a meta-analysis (statistical technique) they calculated the average percentage for the different
attachment styles (e.g. secure, avoidant, resistant) in each country.…read more

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Detachment: Child eventually began to take an interest in their surroundings. However if they
reached this stage, children frequently rejected their primary carer.
Evaluation of Robertson and Robertson:
Powerful documentary evidence of the effect of short term separations. The first time anyone had
shown the distress caused and detrimental effects of separation.
First-hand information- put into use new film techniques which had not previously been available-
powerful evidence which could be viewed by a large number of people.…read more

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According to Rutter (1981) there are many sources of individual differences in vulnerability to the short
term and long term effects of deprivation, including:
Age ­ children are especially vulnerable between 7 months-3 years (Maccoby)
Gender ­ boys on average respond worse to separation than girls.
Temperament ­ differences in temperament, like aggressiveness, may become exaggerated.
Previous mother-child relationship ­ the infants reaction to separation may depend upon the
type of attachment, e.g.…read more

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­ 7yrs. Left in cellar by step- mother. At 7
they had no speech, suffering from malnutrition and lacking in social ability. At 9 they were
fostered with good adoptive carers. They both recovered well emotionally and cognitively. By 10
they were settled in school, had average intelligence and normal attachments. In adulthood they
both settled in jobs and went on to have their own families.
However this case is unique as the boys had each other for support.…read more

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By submerging the children in intensely stimulating environments it appeared to bring back some
Hodges & Tizard adoption study ­ Reversal:
Longitudinal study into whether experiencing early institutionalisation until at least 2 years of age
will lead to long term problems in adolescence for adopted and restored children. They also had a
matched control group to compare to. They found that institutionalised children adopted between
the ages of 2-7 could form close attachments to their adoptive parents.…read more

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Continuation and Consolidation: maintaining established friendships
Deterioration: friendships decline over time, if not maintained
Ending: formal and announced or contact avoided
Age: Selman and Jaquette (1977):
Studied 225 individuals aged between 4 and 32 years
were interviewed about friendships
Developed five overlapping stages of friendship
Conclusion: Found that friendships change with age
The study relies on interview data where observations
of friendship behaviour may be more
appropriate/valid. People may not tell the truth in an
interview.…read more

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Later relationships
The development of friendship in childhood and adolescence.
Discuss Sex differences in children's friendship
Boys and Girls seem to make friends and maintain friendships in different ways.
Even before the concepts of `boy' & `girl' are properly developed, children start to prefer the company of
their own sex.
By 3-4 yrs children play mostly in same-sex groups (Erwin, 1998).
This separation may occur because boys and girls prefer different sorts of activities (e.g. boys rough and
tumble play).…read more


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