Slides in this set
Bowlby (1951) Evolutionary Theory Harlow & Harlow (1959)
Imprinting Occurs in humans? Comfort important in attachment. Study with monkeys. Whether
1) Evolved biological need to attach to main caregiver usually they prefer food or comfort and protection as an attachment
biological mother. one special attachment = Monotropy. Survival figure.
value as staying close to mother ensures food and protection. Lab Experiment using rhesus monkeys raised in isolation. Two
surrogate mothers Wire Mesh/Bottle and Cloth/No Bottle.
2) Strong attachment = `safe base' giving confidence to explore
enviro. Monkeys spent most of their time clinging to cloth
surrogate and only used wire one to feed. Cloth provided
3) Gives `template' for future relationships, trust + care for others. comfort in new situations. Grew up social and emotional
disturbance. Females = bad mothers and often violent to
4) First 3 years of life are `Critical Period' might not happen after offspring.
Infant monkeys form attachment with figure that provided
5) If attachment does not develop (separation/death) or if broken comfort and protection. Growing up in isolation affected
might seriously damage childs social/emotional development.
1) Harlow's study supports idea that we evolve need to attach.
Social/emotional development damaged if attachment isn't
Lab experiment strict control of variables
formed. Applied to real life situations
2) Schaffer & Emerson(1964) against Monotropy, found many Change in hospital procedures babies in incubators
children form multiple attachments & may attach to mother. now given soft blankets.
3) Harlow's study of monkeys raised in isolation also goes
against idea of Monotropy, other monkeys who didn't have
mother but grew up together didn't show signs of Can't generalise study to humans qualitatively
emotional/social disturbance in later life. Attached to each different
other instead. Ethically monkeys put under stress, later showed
4) Mixed evidence for claims of critical period. psychological damage
5) Effect of not developing attachment/breaking it may not be as
Lacking in ecological validity not natural enviro.
Cannot be replicated today.
Ethological Approach Lorenz (1935)
Study of animals in their natural environment.
Konrad Lorenz (1935) found geese automatically `attach'
to the first moving thing they see after hatching and follow it
Normally geese would imprint on their mother but Lorenz
managed to get them to attach to him because he was the
first moving thing they saw.
Imprinting occurs in `critical period' for attachment to
Desire for food is fulfilled,
Mother around? Baby feels
whenever mother around to
develop else it might never.
Association between mother +
Getting food gives baby pleasure
Unlikely to occur in humans. Our attachments take longer to
develop and don't automatically attach to particular things
quality care seems most important in human attachment
to remove it.
baby wants to be close.
Discomfort removed (-ive
Dollard & Miller(1950) babies feel
Mother associated with food +
Mother comes and feeds them
discomfort when hungry, desire for food…read more
Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg (1988) Types of attachment
Cross-cultural studies Secure > strong bond between child and caregiver. When
separated the infant is distressed and when reunited easily
Carried out meta-analysis of 32 studies of `Strange Situation' in comforted. Majority of attachments are this type.
different countries, e.g. Japan, Britain, Sweden etc. analysed to Associated with healthy cognitive and emotional development.
find an overall pattern.
The percentages of children classified as secure or mother. mother.
insecure were similar across the countries tested.
Secure attachment was the most common type of Insecure > bond between child and caregiver is weak.
attachment in the countries studied. Ainsworth came up with two types of insecure
Some differences were found in the distribution of attachment.
In western cultures, it was seen that the most dominant Insecure Avoidant > when separated from care giver, child
type of insecure attachment was avoidant. However, in doesn't become particularly distressed and can usually be
non-western cultures the dominant type was resistant comforted by a stranger.
Generally shown by children who avoid social interaction
Cross cultural similarities in raising children, producing and intimacy for others.
common reactions to the `Strange Situation'.
Insecure Resistant > child is uneasy around caregiver but
Not suitable method of studying cross-cultural upset when they are separated. These children cannot be
attachment as different cultures may raise their comforted by strangers and will probably resist comfort
children differently. from the caregiver.
Assumes that different countries is the same as Generally shown by children who accept and reject social
different cultures. interaction and intimacy.
Meta-analysis can hide individual results that show
an unusual trend.
Important findings from strange situation research. Ainsworth et al. (1978) The Strange Situation.
1) Some cultural differences are found: Grossman et al. Controlled observation where 12-18month old infants were left
(1985) claimed that more `avoidant' infants may be found in a room with their mother. eight different scenarios occurred. i.
in Germany because of value that Germans put on e. being approached by stranger, infant left alone, mother
independence `avoidance' is seen as a good thing. returning etc. infants reactions constantly observed.
2) The cause of different attachments is debateable the About 15% of infants `insecure avoidant' (Type A)
causes may be the sensitivity of their carers and/or their ignored mother and didn't mind when she left. Could
inborn temperament. easily be comforted by a stranger.
About 70% of infants `securely attached' (Type B) content
3) The strange situation experiment doesn't show a with mother, upset when left, happy when returned,
characteristic of the child the experiment only shows the avoided stranger.
childs relationship with a specific person, so they might About 15% of infants insecure resistant' (Type C) uneasy
react differently with different carers or later in life. around mother, upset if left, resistance to stranger, hard
to comfort when mother returned.
4) Attachment type may influence later behaviours
securely attached children may be more confident in Infants showing diff. reactions to carers have diff. type of
school and form strong, trusting adult relationships. attachment
`Avoidant' children may have behaviour problems in
school and find it hard to form close, trusting adult Control of variables meaning results are reliable.
`resistant' children may be insecure and attention-seeking Artificial study low ecological validity.
in school and, as adults, their strong feelings of Parents may have changed behaviour due to
dependency may be stressful for partners. observation may have effect on child behaviour.
New situation may affect childs behaviour.
Mother may not be the childs primary attachment
Robertson and Robertson (1968) evidence for PDD Model Disruption of Attachment
In a naturalistic observation, several children who Attachment can be disrupted by separation or
experienced short separations from their carers were deprivation.
observed and filmed. E.g. a boy called John aged around
18 months stayed in a residential nursery for 9 days while Separation is where a child is away from a caregiver
his mother had another baby.
they're attached to, such as their mother. the term's
John showed signs of passing through `protest' for the used when it's a relatively short time, just hours or
first day or two. days not a longer or permanent separation.
Then he showed despair, tried to get attention from the
nurses but they were busy with other children so `gave Deprivation describes the loss of something that is
up' trying. wanted or needed. So, `maternal deprivation' is the
Then showed detachment, more active and content. loss of the mother, or other attachment figure. A
However when mother returned to collect him was more long term or even permanent loss is implied.
reluctant to be affectionate.
The short term separation, had bad side effects, including
permanent damage to his attachment with his mother.
Study took place in natural setting, results have
ecological validity but are less reliable.
May not have been due to separation, could have
been down to new environment, or getting less
attention than used to.
Little control of variables
Difficult to replicate each individual situation.
PDD Model Protest Despair, Detachment.
John Bowlby Long-Term Maternal Deprivation
Argued that long-term deprivation from an attachment figure could be Protest:
harmful. during the first few hours, the child will protest a lot at being
separated from its mother or other attachment figure, by crying,
1) Deprivation during critical period will have harmful effects on childs panicking, calling for its mother etc.
emotional, social, intellectual and physical development.
2) long term effects of deprivation may include separation anxiety. May
lead to problem behaviour e.g. Being clingy, avoid going to school.
Future relationships affected by emotional insecurity. After a day or two, the child will start to lose interest in its
surroundings, becoming more and more withdrawn, with
Case studies: completed on backgrounds of 44 teens, who occasional crying. They may also eat and sleep less.
had been referred to the clinic where Bowlby worked
because they'd been stealing. Control group of 44 Detachment:
`emotionally disturbed' teens who didn't steal. After a few days, the child will start to become more alert
and interested again in its surroundings. It will cry less and
17 of thieves experienced frequent separations from may seem to have `recovered' from its bad reaction to the
mothers before age 2 compared with 2 in control group. separation.
14 of thieves diagnosed as `affectionless psychopaths' didn't However, its previous attachment with its carer may now
care if affected others. be permanently damaged, the trust and security may be
12 of 14 experienced separation from mothers. lost.
Deprivation of child from main CG in early life can have 1) Findings suggest separating a child from carers should be
harmful long-term consequences. avoided when possible. Important implications for childcare
practice. E.g. children should be allowed to visit mothers in
Link between deprivation and criminal behaviour. 2) Studies shown that children who receive foster care do better
than those placed in an institutionalised setting. Children seem
No established cause and effect to cope with separation as long as they receive one-on-one
Other factors may have caused criminal behaviour emotional support.
Study relied on retrospective data, which may be 3) Many factors influence childs reaction to separation. Inc. age,
quality of care individual temperament, how often separated.
Long Term Effects of Separation.
Limitations to Evidence for Privation.
1) Affectionless Psychopathology: seen in 44 juvenile thieves
The children didn't just suffer maternal privation, they study.
also had very little social and intellectual stimulation,
and were generally treated horribly. These factors 2) Analytic Depression:
must be taken into account when looking at their involving appetite loss, sleeplessness and impaired social and
development. intellectual development.
Problems with generalising findings because they only 3) Deprivation Dwarfism:
focus on individual cases. infants are physically underdeveloped due to emotional
Case studies show mixed results for how much
children can recover from privation in early life. Czech Other evidence has been found to support Bowlby:
Goldfarb (1943) found that orphanage children who were
twins recovered well, but Genie didn't. socially and maternally deprived were later less intellectually
and socially developed.
More controlled, scientific evidence is needed.
Ethically wrong to put children in situations of The evidence can be criticised: Bowlby linked the thieves'
privation to see what might happen. Some studies of behaviour to maternal deprivation but other things were not
children raised in institutions have provided evidence considered, e.g. whether the poverty they grew up in led
for the effect of privation. However, we cannot them to steal.
precisely be sure of the reasons behind the effects. The children in Goldfarb's study may have been most
harmed by the social deprivation in the orphanage rather
than the maternal deprivation.
Effects can be reversed with appropriate, good quality
care. Skeels and Dye (1939) found children who had been
socially deprived (in orphanage) during first 2 years of life
quickly improved their IQ scores if transferred to school
with one-to-one care.
Failure to Form Attachments Privation.
Hodges and TIzzard (1989) children raised in institutions. Maternal deprivation is when a child never had an attachment to its
mother or caregiver.
Longitudinal study (long-term) on 65 children who had Rutter (1981) claimed the effects of maternal privation are more
been placed in a residential nursery before they were 4 likely to be serious than the effects of maternal deprivation.
months old. Hadn't had the opportunity to form close Evidence for this comes from case studies of children who have
attachments with any of their caregivers. By age 4, suffered difficult conditions or cruel treatment.
some children had returned to their birth mothers, Curtiss (1977) The Case of Genie
some had been adopted and some stayed. A girl who suffered extreme cruelty from her parents and never
formed any attachments. She was kept strapped to a high chair
At 16, the adopted group had strong family with a potty in the seat for most of her childhood. She was beaten
relationships, although compared to a control group of if she made a sound and didn't play with other toys or children.
Discovered when she was 13, she was physically underdeveloped
children from a `normal' home environment, they had and could only make animal like sounds. After help she later
weaker peer relationships. Those who stayed in nursery learned some language but her social and intellectual skills never
or returned to mothers showed poorer relationships fully developed.
with family and peers than those who were adopted.
Koluchova (1976) The case of the Czech Twins
Children can recover from early maternal privation if in Twin boys whose mother died soon after they were born. Their
good quality, loving environment, although social father remarried and their stepmother treated them cruelly. Often
kept locked in cellar, beaten and had no toys. Found when they
development may not be as good as children who have were 7 with rickets, a bone development disease caused by lack of
never suffered privation. vitamin D and little social/intellectual development. Later adopted
and made progress. By adulthood they had above average
Natural experiment = high ecological validity. intelligence and normal social relationships.
Rutter et al. (1998): studied 111 Romanian orphans
adopted by British families before they were two. 1) Length of privation and Age when discovered Czech twins
younger, time to develop.
Sample was small, more than 20 children couldn't 2) Experience during isolation twins kept together.
3) Quality of care after isolation twins adopted.
be found a end of study. Hard to generalise. 4) Individual differences…read more
Shea (1981) positive effects of day care Failure to form attachments - Privation
Infants aged between 3 and 4 were videotaped in the Privation of attachments in early life will damage a child's
playground during their first 10 weeks at nursery school. development, although how much damaged depends n
Their behaviour was assessed in terms of rough-and- several factors, such as age. Children can recover to some
tumble play, aggression, frequency of peer interaction, extent, but some effects may be permanent.
distance from teacher and distance from nearest child.
Reactive Attachment Disorder Parker and Forrest
Over 10 weeks, children's peer interaction increased and
distance from teacher decreased. There was decrease in
A rare but serious condition, which occurs in children who
aggression and increase in rough-and-tumble play.
have been permanently damaged, by early experiences
Increase in sociability was more evident in children who
such as privation of attachment.
attended day care 5 days a week than those who went in 2
days a week.
- an inability to give or receive affection
- poor social relationships
Day care causes children to become more social and less - dishonesty
aggressive. - involvement in crime
Naturalistic observation, so study has high ecological
The cycle of Privation:
validity, as no behaviour was manipulated.
some studies suggest children who experience privation
have difficulties caring for own children.
Results may have been affected by extraneous Quinton et al. (1985) compared 50 women who
variables. experienced institutional care as children, with 50 women
Behaviour was open to interpretation so findings who hadn't. found that women who had been raised in
could be biased. institutions were most likely to have parenting difficulties
in later life. Suggests cycle of privation children who are
deprived of strong maternal attachment and may then be
less caring and so on.
Belsky and Rovine (1988) negative effects of day care Clarke-Stewart et al. (1994) positive effects of day care
Study made up of a series of separate observations, to
Infants placed in `strange situation' to assess how secure examine the effects of day care. One experiment looked at
their attachments with their mothers were. One group peer relationships of 150 children aged 2-3 years, who
had experienced no day care and one had experienced at came from different social backgrounds.
least 20 hours of day care before their first birthday. In another experiment the strength of attachment in a
group of 18 month-old children were studied. These
Infants who had received day care were more likely to children had at least 30 hours of day care per week.
have an insecure attachment type. They were either `strange situation' used, results compared with those of
`insecure-avoidant' (type A) ignored their mother and children who had `low intensity' day care, less than 10
didn't mind if she left, or `insecure-resistant'(Type C) hours per week.
uneasy around mother, upset if she left. Those who hadn't
had day care were more likely to be securely attached 2-3 year olds who had experienced day care were good at
(Type B). coping with social situations and negotiating with each
Day care has a negative effect in an infants social In `strange situation' experiment, the 18month-olds who
development. had high intensity day care were just as distressed when
separated from their mothers as those with low intensity
`strange situation' is controlled observation, good day care.
control of variables.
Day care can have a positive effect on the development of
Lacks ecological validity, because artificial situation. peer relationships in 2-3 year olds. Attachment in 18
DiLalla (1998) negative effects on children's peer month-olds is not affected by temporary separation.
relationships more day care children had, less pro-
socially they behaved e.g. Less they helped/shared Observations controlled, so study easy replicated.
Situation was artificial, so lacks ecological validity.
Results cant be generalised to other children.…read more
Effects of Day Care on Child Development
Research into how day care affects development varies widely.
1) Studies focus on different things, e.g. quality of care,
age of child, and use different samples.
2) Methodological problems with studies that might lead
to inconsistent results.
E.g. Clarke-Stewart admitted that `strange situation' isn't
good way of assessing attachment in infants who have
day care, despite the study. Used to temporary separation
so might respond indifferently and be wrongly classed as
3) All studies rely on correlations, not possible to establish
cause and effect.
4) Studies don't take into account individual differences
such as temperament.
Quality of day care can affect the results of studies .
Scarr (1988) identified 5 factors which made good day
How to make a great day care centre...
Quality of day care can affect the results of studies .
Scarr (1998) identified 5 factors which made good day
1) Good staff training
2) Adequate space
3) Appropriate toys and activities
4) Good ratio of staff to children
5) Minimizing staff turnover so children can form stable
attachments with carers.
Vandell et al (1988) found children who had good quality
day care were more likely to have friendly interactions
with others compared to those receiving lower quality day
Scarr (1998) and Vandell et al's (1988) studies show that
high quality day care can have a positive effect on social