The Influence of Childhood and adolescent experiences

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  • Created by: Zoe
  • Created on: 18-12-12 12:49

The Continuity hypothesis

  • The claim that early relationship experiences continue in later adult life 
  • Bowlby argued that the early relationships with our primary caregivers provide the basis for later adult relationships.
  • Ainsworth divided attachment styles into three types using the "Strange situation".
  • Research has taken place to establisj whether these attachment types influence the relationships a child develops with those of the same age (friends and peers) and whether they persist in adolscnet and adult relationships as the hypothesis predicts.

Relationships with Peers

  • Relationships with peers are characterised as "Horizontal relationships" as they take place between two people of roughly equal knowledge and power such as siblings or friends.
  • Peer relationships provide young people with the opportunity to develop and practise "social competence" relationship skills and abilities.
  • Attachment theories suggest that the childs attachment classification may influence their popularity with peers
  • Securely attached children = more confident in interacting with friends.

Alternative Explanation

  • Social learning theory - approach predicts a continuity between the childs relationship with their parents and their ability to make friends as it suggests that children will learn relationship skills from their parents via observation and imitation.
  • Parke (1988) - argues that families influence a childs later relationships as they guide and modify the childs social behaviour to help them develop social skills.
  • Russell and


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