Social Development

Full notes on the AQAB Early and later realtionships - social development section paper of unit 3

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  • Created on: 04-06-12 21:17
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Social Development
-Early relationships
Attachment is a long-lasting, emotionally meaningful bond to a specific individual.
Schaffer and Emerson
Aim: Investigating the number of attachments infants can form.
Method: In a longitudinal study, 60 Scottish infants in Glasgow were observed while their
mothers were interviewed during the first 18 month after birth. The infants' response to
separation was considered through two aspects of attachment behaviour: separation
anxiety and stranger distress.
Results: By 18 months, most infants had formed more than 1 attachment figure, some had
as many as 5. Although the mother was the most common selected attachment figure, 75%
also selected their father by 18 months.
Conclusion: Infants normally do not demonstrate monotrophy (1 attachment figure). It is
usual for a child to have several attachment figures by 18 months.
Asocial ­ 0-6 weeks; babies respond to humans and objects similarly.
Diffuse ­ 6 weeks-6 months; babies are comforted by anyone.
Single Strong ­ 7-12 months; babies show strong attachment to a single person.
Multiple ­ 12-18 months; babies show attachment to a few individuals.
Caregiver & infant interactions> Positive interactions can help build and maintain
Klaus and Kendall
Immediate physical contact:
Skin to skin stimulation between the mother and the baby.
Mothers who cuddled their child after birth enjoyed a better relationship with their child than
those mothers who did not get this opportunity.
Melzoff & Moore
Capacity of very young imitating (copying) many adult expressions. Young children are active
and take part in relationship formation at very early stages of their lives.

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Condon & Sander
Interaction synchrony:
When babies and care-giver take turns in communicating with each other.
Isabella found that securely attached mother-infant pairs were those who had shown more
instances of interactional synchrony during observation at home.
Snow & Ferguson
High pitched repetitive, short and simple sentences to communicate with the baby.
Motherese can be seen as contributing towards interactional synchrony allowing for a more
effective mother-infant interaction and communication.
Melzoff and Moore
Aim: Investigating imitation of facial expressions in 2-3 weeks old babies.…read more

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Animal research
Human and animals are similar as both have a need for early social interaction. Darwin argues
that human have evolved and turned into more complex beings. Regardless, characteristics
are shared between human and animals. This allows generalisations to be made from animal
Aim: Investigating the behaviour of infant monkeys separated from their mother after birth
to test the effects of separation from birth (privation).
Method: Monkeys were kept in cage with two other substitute mothers.…read more

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Functions of attachment
Cupboard love: Babies attach for food.
Proximity: Keeping close to mother enables us to survive.
Internal working model: Early relationships act as a model for future relationships.
Communication: Babies attach to those who can best communicate with them.…read more

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Behaviourists perspective in psychology (rewarding behaviour is repeated)
Measuring Attachment
The strange situation:
Aim: Investigating the types of attachments in the strange situation.
Method: In a controlled observation, babies were left to play with their mother in the same
room. Later a stranger entered the room, soon after the mother quietly left the room. The
mother returned when the baby became distressed. This procedure was repeated
throughout 25 minutes of the observation time.…read more

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Bremner argues if securely attached babies are often happy to explore the
environment, they can in fact have an insecure attachment rather than secure, since they
are not exactly seeking proximity
Belsky argues that Ainsworth focused too much on the mother responsiveness to
measure babies' attachment, other factors such as babies' personality type seem to be
completely ignored
Ethical issues were raised as babies had to go through periods of distress during the
observation-nonetheless this separation was important to measure attachment types.…read more

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As the questions are open, it can be harder to simplify the results into a particular
Ethical issues need to be considered as some adults may have had bad childhood
experience, hence they may feel periods of distress during the interview-nonetheless
informed consent can be gained from these adults and they would have had the right to
withdraw as well as being conformed their identity and results will remain confidential
Combined evaluation of the strange situation and adult interviews:
The strange situation raises more…read more

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Rutter concluded that Romanian children were able to overcome the severe effects of
privation only if they were adopted before reaching the age of 6 months.
The case study of Genie suggests that privation consequences cannot be overcome
after puberty. Although there are other factors that may have contributed to this cause.…read more

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British children were also separated from mother but not
underdeveloped, the institution children are raised in also plays a role
Evaluating Rutter's study:
Studying the effects of privation is difficult due to ethical issues; hence previous research
is based on animal and case studies.…read more

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Main concluded that parents who were neglected by their parents during childhood were
also likely to neglect their own children, as Bowlby suggested one of the functions of
attachment in Internal working model that shapes future relationships.
Bowlby concluded that maternal deprivation during the critical period of the first two
years may lead to delinquency, affectionless psychopathy and intellectual retardation.…read more


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