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  • Created by: Genevieve
  • Created on: 19-12-10 15:27

Cross-cultural variations ***. -Takashi


  • Consider whether the Strange Situation is a valid procedure for cultures other than the original one. (not just middle class, american infants)
  • Making comparisons between the American and Japanese group - to see if it's possible to reval assumptions on which the procedure is based.





60 middle class, Japanese infants (raised at home) and their mothers were observed in the Strange situation study





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Ainsworth Strange Situation Study

Why might the study be lacking in ecological validity

The findings don't apply to settings outside the lab.

Why might the study be lacking in population validity

We can't generalise because the research is based on white middle classed american infants. 

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Cultural variations of attachment

Cultural variations in attachment:

Most psychological research is carried out by western countries, so it's important that we don't assume that people in other ares of the world behave in the same way, have the same expectations and values. 

How have researchers tried to address this issue?

By conducting studies with different cultures. This allows researchers to asses whether a phenomenon is universal or just culture bond. 

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Cross-cultural variations ***. -Takashi


Findings suggest that there are cross-cultural variations in the way infants respond to separation.


It could be due to the fact that Japanese children experience much less separation and are almost never left alone.

The Strange situation study was what for the Japanese infants?

Severely stressful -because they had to separate from their mothers. 

This means the behaviours observed were reactions to?

Extreme stress -which is not the original aim of the study.


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Cross-cultural variations ***. -Takashi


Research with children needs to be especially careful in terms of what? potential psychological harm to participants -which is an important ethical issue

Takashi's Study was caried out with a limited sample of?

Middle-class, home reared infants.

Which means?

It's not appropriate to gene

ralise the findings to all Japanese infants, although the results do demonstrate that there are cultural differences in attachment.

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Disruption of attachment

What is disruption of attachment?

Damage to, loss or failure to form an attachment, which may result from separation without substitute emotional care, neglect or rejection. 

Younger infants don't have the cognitive capacity to do what?

Hold the attachment figures in mind while they're away for long periods of time.

However older infants may not understand the reasons for separation and so may experience?

A loss of trust and lack of continuity of care.

Define Separation:

Refers to time spent awat from the primary care giver. Which may cause distress, but not necessarily lasting disruption of the attachment. 

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Disruption of attachment

What is deprivation?

Refers to the disruption or breaking down of an attachment due to loss of emotional care.

Maternal deprivation: (term used by Bowlby)

Refers to the disruption of attachment caused by frequent/prolonged separations from the primary care giver.

Which result in?

emotional damage and behavioural problems.

What is an extreme case of maternal deprivation?

 Affectionless psychopathy - an absence of social conscience 

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Disruption of attachment

What is privation?

Lack of any attachment.

This is due to the total absence of what?

An attachment figure

Where might privation occur?

In institutionalised children

The effects of privation?

Permanent emotional damage 

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Disruption of attachment

What is institutionalisation?

Where children are raised without continuos emotional care and have failed to form attachment. 

Children raised in institutions may be physically?


What is reactive attachment disorder? (RAD)

A psychological attachment disorder

What are the symptoms?  Inability to give or recieve affection, develop trusting relationships, cruelty and aggression, controlling, manipulative behaviour, lying and stealing. 

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Disruption of attachment.

What is RAD caused by?

Lack of or no early attachments:

  • institutionalisation
  • long term undiagnosed illnesses in infancy
  • maternal rejection at birth
  • lack of continuity in care
  • early separation 

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