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Caregiver Infant Interactions

Recipocity - responding with a similar action

Jaffe et al - coordination of actions in a conversation

Brazelton - important for future communications and attachments

Meltzoof and Moore - 3 behaviours showed associations

Piaget suggested imitation was due to encouragement


  • Problems with testing infants
  • Questions into whether the behaviour is intentional (inanimate objects)
  • Individual differences
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The Developments of Attachments

Schaffer and Emerson - 60 infants in Glassgow (65% to mother 25% to father)

Stages - Indiscriminate Attachments, Beginnings of Attachments, Discriminate Attachments and Multiple Attachments

Role of the Father - secondary attachmet

Secondary Attachment Roles - playful etc


  • Stages are inflexible
  • Are multiple attachments equal?
  • Biased study
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Lorenzo and Harlow

Lorenzo -gosling eggs showing imprinting is long lasting and irreversible


  • Research is study by chicks
  • Imprinting may be reversible

Harlow - wire monkey mothers suggesting it is more to do with contact and comfort


  • Two stimuli mothers differed in multiple ways
  • Ethical problems
  • Cannot be generalised
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The Learning Theory

Behaviours are down to learning rather than an innate drive

Operant conditioning - learning through reinforcement

Classical conditioning - learning through association

Social Learning Theory - learning through imitation


  • Based on studies with animals (mental activity)
  • Suggests the main attachment is down to food
  • Doesn't provide a complete explanation (responsiveness)
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Bowlby's Theory

Monotropy - one bond

Critical Period and Social Realesers - 3- 6 months and having a baby face

Internal Working Model - template for future relationships

Continuity Hypothesis- infants more securely attached are more trusting adults


  • Attachments are less important for survival
  • Critical period may be too harsh
  • Multiple attachments do serve some function
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Strange Situation -Ainsworth

8 Episodes and 4 behaviours were measured

66% were secure

22% were avoidant

12% were resistant


  • May be a fourth attachment type
  • Low internal validity (quality)
  • Real world applications (intervention)
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Cultural Variations

Van IJenzendoorn & Kroonenburg - analysed 32 attachment studies

Found a secure attachment was the most common

Cultural differences - Japan and Germany

Similarities - African Tribes


  • Universal similarities
  • Compared countries not cultures
  • Issue with the tool used
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Maternal Deprivation

Value of Maternal Care - need intimate and continuous care to ensure normal mental health

Critical Period - frequent separation here could lead to them being emotionally disturbed

Long-term Consequences - was emotional maladjustment or mental health problems

44 Juvenile Thieves


  • Not only down to physical separations
  • Maternal deprivation doesn't always have negative consequences
  • Real world applications in hospitals
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Effects of Insituationalisation

Rutter et al - 165 Romanian Orphans (111 adopted before 2 and 54 before 4)

Found they caught up after 4 years  but those adopted after 6 months showed disinhibited attachments

Canada study - recovered by the age of 10 1/2

Effects - physically underdeveloped, disinhibited attachments, poor parenting (Quinton)


  • Not true that individuals have to form an attachment in the critical period (given some form of attachment in a institution)
  • Real world applications (adoption)
  • Importance of longitudinal studies
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The Influence of Early Attachments

Hazen and Shaver - Love Quiz (620 responses)

Found 56% secure

Found 25% avoidant

Found 19% resistant

Behaviour influenced by the Internal Working Model - Childhood relationships, poor parenting, romantic relationships and mental health


  • Links together the internal working model and childhood attachment types
  • Relies on retrospective classification
  • Suggests early experiences have a fixed effect on later life (not always true)
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