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Parent-child relationships (AO1)
· Shaver et al (1988) claimed that what we experience as
romantic love in adulthood is an integration of 3
behavioural systems acquired in infancy ­ attachment,
care giving and sexuality systems. (See key handout)
· The 1st system, attachment is related to the concept of
the internal working model which was covered in the
AS level (look for those yellow attachment booklets!)
· According to Bowlby (1969) later relationships are likely
to be a continuation of early attachment styles (secure
and insecure) because the behaviour of the infant's
primary attachment figure promotes an internal working
model of relationships which leads the infant to expect
the same in later relationships.
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Commentary on parental relationships
· The relationship between · However, one key question
attachment style and later concerns the stability of
adult relationships has been attachment types. It could be
demonstrated in a number of that an individual's attachment
studies. Fraley (1998) type is determined by the
conducted a meta-analysis of current relationship, which is
studies, finding correlations why happily married couples
from 0.10 to 0.50 between are secure. Attachment theory
early attachment type and later does suggest that significant
relationships. They suggested relationship experiences may
that one reason for low alter attachment organisation.
correlations may be because · Kirkpatrick and Hazan (1994)
insecure-anxious attachment is found that relationship break-
more unstable. ups were associated with a
shift from secure to insecure
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Interaction with peers (AO1)
· Qualter and Munn (2005) have shown that children also
learn from their experiences with other children. The way
that a child thinks about himself and others is determined
at least in part by specific experiences, which then
become internalised. As a result, children may develop a
sense of their own value as a result of interactions with
others, which in turn determines how they approach
adult relationships.
· Nangle (2003) claims that children's friendships are
training grounds for important adult relationships. Close
friendships are characterised by affection, a sense of
alliance and intimacy, and the sharing of secrets and
personal information. The experience of having a friend
to confide in promotes feelings of trust, acceptance and
a sense of being understood.
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Commentary on interaction with peers (AO2)
· Gender differences in · Other research (Erwin, 1993)
childhood relationships have has found that boys
been found in a number of relationships tend to be more
studies. competitive, a fact attributed to
· Richard & Schneider (2005) the greater emphasis on
found that girls have more competitive play activities.
intimate friendships than boys · In contrast, girls are more likely
and are more likely to report to engage in co-operative and
care and security in their sharing activities.
relationships with other girls. · However, Erwin claims that
sex differences in the
experience of childhood
relationships have been over-
emphasised, that many
similarities tend to be
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