Attachment studies

HideShow resource information

Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg

A: To discover whether there were differences in attachment between cultures

P: Meta-analysis; the findings from a varitety of studies were drawn together. Looked at all those which had used The Strange Situation; over 2,000 Strange Situation clasifications from 32 studies and 8 countries.

F: Secure attachment was the most common type of attachment across all 8 countries. Significant differences were found in distribution of insecure attachment: Western - dominant type was avoidance, Non-Western - dominant type was resistance

Co: The global pattern across cultures appears to be tat in the US, secure attachment is the norm. This supports the idea that secure attachment is the 'best' for healthy social and emotional development. They suggest that cross-cultural similarities might be explained by mass media, which spreads ideas about parenting so that children across the world are exposed to similar experiences.

Cr: Psychological harm as the baby could be so distressed as the parents leave them alone - Japan it's never happened before. Also, confounding variables could affect it, for example the baby could be crying if it was ill, so the mother wouldn't be able to console it.

1 of 4

Takahashi (1990)

A: To determine the differences in attachment in Japan

P: Used the Strange Situation technique to study 60 middle-class infants and their mothers. 

F: They found similar rates of secure attachment as in Ainsworth's American sample, but found no evidence of insecure-avoidant attachment and high rates of insecure-resistant attachment (32%). The Japanese infants were particularly distressed on being left alone. 

Co: This cultural variation can be explained in terms of different childcare practices. In Japan, infants rarely experience separation from their mothers and this would explain why they were more distressed in their situations than their American counterparts. This would make them appear to be insecurley attached.

Cr: (Rothbaum et all 2000) Attachment theory has a strong Western bias, reflecting the views of individualist societies who value autonomy and independence, but collectivist societies such as Japan value interdependance and secure attachment therefore will lead to dependence. It also ignores the cultual meaning of the behavour, as dependent behaviour is normal in Japan, but not in America, so the Strange Situation technique may not be meaningful in other cultures, such as Japan.

2 of 4

Tizard and Hodges (1978)

A: To investigate the effects of long-term privation

P: A longitudinal study of 65 children placed into an institution before 4 months. By 4 years of age, 24 children had been adopted and 15 had been restored to their natural homes. The children were assessed at ages 4, 8 and 16. They conducted interviews of parents, teachers and the children and getting them to complete questionnaires.

F: At age 4, children still in the institutions were attention seeking.They exhibited problems in relating to peers and showed argumentative styles of interaction. The adopted children were indiscrimantley and excessively friendly towards strangers. At age 6, most adoptive children formed close attachments with adoptive parents, some who had returned to their biological parents had done so. Teachers thought they were attention seeking and restless. The restored children had the worst behavoural problems at school. At 16 most adoptive children were similar to the control group. The restored children had mostly poor family relationships.

Co: Ex-institution children had difficulities with peer relationships, suggesting early privation does have negative effects.

Cr: No independent check of the answers, they wouldn't have been objective and the teachers knew which children were ex-institutional, so it could have made the study invalid and unreliable.

3 of 4

Romanian Orphan Studies

A: To examine the effects of institutional care and privation on some orpahns in Romania

P: Proffessor Rutter and the English and Romainian Adoptee (ERA) project have been conducting a longitudinal study. The children have been assessed when they were 4, 6, 11 and 15. The assesments looked at cognitive, behavioural, emotional, academic, social relationships and health development. It is a multi-method study which uses interviews, questionnaires, observation and medical testing.

F: Showed a remarkable amount of cognitive and physical catch-up when assessment at 4, 6 and 11 years old. A substantial minority of children showed significant problems, such as disinhibited attachment and inattention/overactvity. At 6 years old, disinhabited attachment was shown most commonly in late adopted Romanian children. Some problems persisted, if disinhabited attachemnt and inattention/overactivity were found at 4 and 6 years old, they were also found at 11 and 15 years old.

Co: If the children are found at a young age, it is easier for them to catch up and the problems created when young, can carry on in to later life 


4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Attachment resources »