Attachment

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  • Created by: charlia
  • Created on: 07-04-15 14:06
Explain classical conditioning (learning theory)
Attachment may be formed due to association. UCS produces UCR (food produces pleasure). NS when paired with UCS gradually becomes a CS (e.g. parent with food). CS produces a CR (parent who feeds infant produces pleasure)
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Explain operant conditioning (learning theory)
Attachment may be formed due to reinforcement (dollard and miller). Hungry infant feels uncomfortable, has a drive to reduce discomfort, food reduces this drive/provides pleasure (which is rewarding) so is primary reinforcer. Parent is secondary.
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One limitation of this explanation is that research shows that feeding is not the main factor in the formation of attachments expand on this. (learning theory)
Infants are more likely to because attached to the person who offers contact comfort rather than feeds them. Demonstrated by Harlow, infant monkeys preferred a wired mother who offered comfort rather than the one with a feeding bottle.
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Human studies also challenge the importance of food in attachment formation expand on this evaluation point (learning theory)
Schaffer and Emerson investigated attachment through an observational study of 60 babies in their own homes for a period of a year. Found that babies were most attached to the person who interacted/responded to them most. - supports Harlow
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What's the main strength of learning theory?
Can be used to explain attachment formation. Food may not be a reinforcer but other things may be e.g. attention and responsiveness. Schaffer and Emerson showed this. Learning theory may not be wrong, just 'food' as the basis of conditioning is wrong
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What are the 6 key features of Bowlby's theory?
Attachment is adaptive, it is innate, there is a sensitive period of 6-9months, infants have one special emotional bond (monotropy), internal working model and the continuity hypothesis
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What are social releasers? (Bowlby's theory)
Innate characteristics that infants are born with to ensure they receive care from others e.g. large eyes and little nose are 'cute'
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What is the internal working model? (Bowlby's theory)
The relationship between primary attachment figure and infant creates expectations about what all relationships will be like, leading to an internal working model of relationships
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What's the continuity hypothesis? (Bowlby's theory)
Individuals who are securely attached in infancy continue to be attached in later childhood and adulthood. Insecurely attached children have more social and emotional difficulties in childhood and adulthood.
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What research support is there for the innate basis for attachment? (Bowlbys theory)
Lorenz found that goslings had an innate tendency to follow and stay close to the first moving object they saw, called imprinting. The fact that the goslings could become attached to lorenz demonstrates an innate process that has survival value.
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What research supports monotropy? (Bowlbys theory)
Tronick et al studied an African tribe, the Efe, in which the infants are cared for and breastfed by several women, nevertheless, infant formed a primary attachment to one month after 6 months. Also suggests it's universal which supports innate
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What problems are there with the concept of monotropy (Bowlby's theory)
Rutter argued that all attachment figures are equally important, for healthy emotional development it may actually be preferable to have a number of primary attachments, suggests internal working model is based on several relationships rather one.
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What is the strange situation?
Developed by Mary Ainsworth, research technique used to measure the kind of attachment between an infant and a parent. When a stranger is present creates stranger anxiety. Left alone creates separation anxiety.
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What is the procedure of the strange situation?
1. parent and infant play. 2. parent sits. 3. stranger enters, talks to parent. 4. parent leaves, infant plays, stranger offers comfort if needed. 5. parent returns greets infant, stranger leaves. 6. Parent leaves, infant alone. 7. stranger enters.
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What's a strength of the SS?
It's usefulness. Without the SS technique it would not be possible to investigate the causes and effects of attachment as it requires a means of assessing the quality of that relationship. The SS is an essential tool needed for research on attachment
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Why may the SS not be a valid measurement of attachment?
It only measures attachment in the context of one particular relationship rather than telling us the 'attachment type' of the individual. But, research has shown that attachment type is mainly influenced by the mother.
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Why may the SS not apply to every culture?
It was developed in the US and is based on certain assumptions e.g. that a securely attached child should only be mildly distressed when separated from their parent. In some cultures e.g. japan, dependence is valued so children would show more distre
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Explain secure attachment (types of attachment)
Greets parent enthusiastically on return, willing to explore, some stranger and separation anxiety. Related to the sensitivity the mother shows when responding to their childs needs, also to later healthy social, emotional and cognitive development
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Explain insecure-avoidant attachment (types of attachment)
Indifferent when their parent returns (ignores/avoid). Willing to explore, low stranger and separation anxiety. Insecure-avoidant children generally avoid intimacy with others.
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Explain Insecure-resistant attachment (types of attachment)
Resists/rejects their parent on return. Less willing to explore, high stranger and separation anxiety. Alternate between seeking and rejecting intimacy.
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Why might it be inaccurate to suggest that children have just one attachment type? (types of attachment)
Children may display different attachment types in different situations and with different people. A child may be securely attached with their father but insecurely attached when with their mother.
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One criticism of the three toes is that attachment behaviours may not be consistent expand on this evaluation point of types of attachment
Main and solomon re analysed over 200 video recordings of SS and proposed a fourth attachment type (disorganised attachment). Characterised by a lack of consistent patterns of behaviour. Ainsworths idea of consistent behaviour may be wrong.
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What real world applications are there for the concept of type of attachment?
When infants are classed as insecurely attached intervention strategies may be used to improve the bond e.g. 'circle of security' project teaches parents to understand infects signals and respond more sensitively.
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Which Psychologists study cultural variations in attachment?
Key study: Van ijzendoom and kroonenberg Second study: Grossmann et al
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What was the procedure of Van IJzendoom and Kroonenbergs study? (CVA)
Meta analysis of 32 SS studies in 8 different countries. Excluded any studies that looked at special groups e.g. downs syndrome, twins and those with less than 35 participants
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What were the findings of Van IJzendoom and Kroonenbergs study? (CVA)
Secure attachment was most common in all countries. Insecure-avoidant was the next most common except in israel and japan which had quite high rates of insecure-resistant. The variation within countries was 1.5x greater that between countries
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What was the procedure of Grossmann et al's study? (CVA)
two samples of mothers and their infants were studied, one from northern and one from southern germany. Attachment type assessed using SS in infancy. Assessed again at age 11.
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What were the findings of Grossmann et al's study? (CVA)
Southern Germany: 2/3 securely attached. Northern Germany: 2/3 insecurely attached. High levels of insecure attachment were attributed to an emphasis on self-reliance by parents in Northern Germany. The same infants at 11 had poorer peer relationship
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What's the main criticism of the research? (CVA)
Using SS may not be a valid measure of attachment in all cultures. Developed in the US based on assumptions such as children should only be mildly distressed when the parent leaves, may explain high levels of insecure attachment in japanese infants.
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The meta analysis looked at countries which is not the same as cultures, expand on this evaluation point... (CVA)
Within any country there are many cultures, it may be meaningless to compare countries. Found an over-representation of IR infants in rural japan but in urban tokyo were similar to US.
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Not all studies have found that there are cultural differences expand on this evaluation point... (CVA)
Tronick et al studied an african tribe which demonstrated that the infants all formed a primary attachment. Further supported by the japanese study as urban and the US were similar. Despite culture, elements of the attachment process are similar
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Which psychologists studied disruption of attachment ?
Key study: Robertson and Robertson Second study: Hart et al
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What was the procedure of Robertson and Robertson's study? (disruption of attachment)
Filmed young children while they were separated from their mothers. John was in a residential nursery for 2 weeks (emotional and physical separation). Jane, Lucy, Thomas and Kate experienced only physical separation (Robertsons cared for them).
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What were the findings of Robertson and Robertson's study? (disruption of attachment)
John initially coped well but became depressed and withdrawn, refused to eat and cried a lot. The other children coped well and returned to their families happily. Shows that physical disruption didnt have a negative affect alone, but emotional does
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What was the procedure Hart et al's study? (disruption of attachment)
64 participants recruited from a maternity unit for a longitudinal study. At 12 months mothers assessed using depression questionnaire and separated into 2 groups. The mothers and their infants were observed while playing with toys.
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What were the findings of Hart et al's study? (disruption of attachment)
At 12 months infants whose mothers were classed as depressed showed less separation anxiety, less proximity to their mothers and greater proximity to a stranger than the non-depressed group. Depressed mothers more emotionally distant.
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There are individual differences when looking at disruption of attachment, expand on this evaluation point.
Not all children are affected by emotional disruption in the same way. Bowlby showed in his study of children who had prolonged stayed in hospitals, when later assessed some children showed no ill social or cognitive effects. May be more resilient
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What real world applications do studies on disruption of attachment have?
To the care of children in hospital. Minimise effects of disruption by allowing parents 24hr access and providing good substitute care. In the 50's when Robertson's study 12% of hospitals prohibited visiting, contrasts today.
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What research suggests that disruption of attachment may not always have long-term negative effects?
Bifulco et al proposed that early experiences of disruption can create a vulnerability that is only triggered in some later in life. However, those who experienced disruption before 17 more likely to be depressed/anxiety Disruption is a risk factor.
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Which psychologists studied failure to form attachment (privation) and institutional care?
Key study: Hodges and Tizard. Second study: Rutter et al
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What was the procedure of hodges and tizard's study? (privation)
Longitudinal study of 65 UK children placed in institutional care under four months old. Attachment assessed at age four, at which time some had been 'restored' to their own home and others adopted. Assessed again at 8 and 16. Control group.
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What were the findings of Hodges and Tizard's study? (privation)
Age 4: all showed disinhibited attachment. 8 & 16: adopted children had close attachments with family. All ex-institutional children had poor peer relationships and sought more attention from adults.
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What was the procedure of Rutter et al's study? (privation)
Longitudinal study of a random sample of 165 Romanian orphan adopted by UK families (spent early life in care in romania). Assessed at 4,6,11,15 on social, psychological and cognitive abilities. Control group of 52 UK adopted children.
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What's the problem with the studies on privation being longitudinal?
Attrition. The original sample of H&T original sample had 65, by age 8 it was 51 and then 16, 49. The individuals who 'disappear' may be the ones who are different in some way. The remaining sample may be biased in some way.
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Privation may be only one factor in explaining long term negative effects, explain this evaluation point.
Children who experience early emotional privation may also experience other negative experiences e.g. cognitive privation. We cannot conclude that the early emotional privation is the sole cause of the difficulties
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There are individual differences in the ability to cope with early privation, expand on this evaluation point
In all studies some of the children recover well, even those adopted after six months. It may be that those children who are less sociable and outgoing dont get adopted early, their eventual difficulties may be due to innate social/emotional issues.
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What are the studies on impact of day care on aggression?
key study: NICHD. Second study: EPPE
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What was the procedure of the NICHD study? (daycare/aggression)
US, over 1,300 from diverse families and locations. Studied from infancy to 15. Children in different forms of day care as well as those home-cared.
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What were the findings of the NICHD study? (daycare/aggression)
Age 5: children who had been in any day care more assertive, disobedient and aggressive. Children in full-time day care 3x more likely to show behaviour problems than those cared for by their mothers at home.
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What was the procedure of the EPPE study? (daycare/aggression) (daycare/peer relations)
UK, over 3,000 children from the age of 3-11. Cognitive and social development were assessed and teacher ratings were used.
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What did the EPPE study show? (daycare/aggression)
Children who spent longer in day care showed more evidence of aggression (teachers). Starting day care at an early age was associated with increased aggression but by age 10 this was no longer apparent. Quality of care important, low quality high ag.
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What was a strength of both of the studies on the impact of day care on aggression?
They both had a strong design. Had a wide spread of children, families and daycare providers. Both studies also controlled for background factors e.g. parental occupation. Some extraneous variables could be ruled out.
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What was a problem with both of the studies on the impact of day care on aggression?
They are natural experiments. It is therefore not reasonable to draw causal conclusions, correlation does not always equal causation. Assumptions cannot be made that day care causes aggression
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There are some contradictory results which suggest that day care is not associated with aggression, explain this.
NICHD found that 83% of children attending day care between 10 and 30 hours per week did not show higher levels of aggression. Maternal sensitivity, education and family income with higher predictors of aggressiveness. Suggests role of daycare exagge
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What were the findings of the EPPE study? (daycare/peer relations)
Pre-school day care improves all aspect of social behaviour. Starting daycare at an early age was associated with increased sociability. No difference between children in full-time and part-time attendance.
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What results suggest that daycare is not associated with improved peer relations?
Belsky and Rovine found that more than 20 hours per week was associated with increased insecure attachment which is associated with lower social competence. However this may be due to other factors e.g. working parents more likely to have insecurely.
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What studies/psychologists looked at the impact of daycare on peer relations?
Key study: EPPE Second study: Clarke-Stewart et al.
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What was the procedure of Clarke stewart et al's study? (daycare/peer relations)
Two samples were compared, a total of 150 children either in day care centres or home care. Range of different backgrounds in Chicago. Many aspects of social/cognitive development were assessed.
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What were the findings of Clarke Stewart et al's study? (daycare/peer relations)
Daycare children better at negotiating with peers and settling disputes. They were more self-confident and less distressed in new situations. Day care provides opportunity to practise social skills
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Clarke Stewart et al did suggest that day care may sometimes have negative effects on peer relations explain this evaluation point
When there were too many children (over 20) effects could be harmful. Spend more time being aggressive rather than socialising. Shows interacting with peers is not always beneficial to peer relations.
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How has research into attachment influenced/improved daycare EXAMPLE?
Soho Family centre in london bases its day care scheme on an understanding of the importance of secondary attachment figures. Each carer assigned responsibility for a max of 3 children.
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How has research into attachment influenced/improved hospital care?
Parents should be allowed unrestricted visiting to avoid possible emotional disruption. Staff should be aware of the need to provide good substitute emotional care.
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How has research into attachment influenced/improved adoption?
Based on Bowlbys research, first 6 months is the critical period, therefore people have learnt that adoption should ideally take place before the age of six months.
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What are the characteristics that are important to provide high-quality child care?
Good staff-to-child ratios, Minimal staff turnover, qualified/experience day care staff, number of hours per week and smaller class sizes
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Why is quality of daycare important?
Because it is related to positive effects. Field found that the greatest benefits of daycare on peer relations were for those in high-quality care.
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Card 2

Front

Explain operant conditioning (learning theory)

Back

Attachment may be formed due to reinforcement (dollard and miller). Hungry infant feels uncomfortable, has a drive to reduce discomfort, food reduces this drive/provides pleasure (which is rewarding) so is primary reinforcer. Parent is secondary.

Card 3

Front

One limitation of this explanation is that research shows that feeding is not the main factor in the formation of attachments expand on this. (learning theory)

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Human studies also challenge the importance of food in attachment formation expand on this evaluation point (learning theory)

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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What's the main strength of learning theory?

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