Psychology - Paper 1 - Attachment - Caregiver - infant interactions in humans

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What is attachment?
A close, 2 way, emotional bond between two individuals characterised by proximity, separation distress and secure base behaviour.
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What are the 3 key features of caregiver-infant interactions?
Reciprocity, interactional synchrony.
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What is reciprocity?
Interactions result in mutual behaviour, infant and adult are both able to produce responses from each other and it serves to reinforce the attachment bond.
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What is interactional synchrony?
The adult and infant mirror the actions of each other in a synchronised way, adults and infants respond in time to sustain communication and it serves to reinforce the attachment bond.
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Who are the key theorists who study the caregiver - infant interactions?
Schaffer and Emerson.
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What were the aims of their study?
To asses whether there was a pattern of attachment formation common to all children and to identify the stages of attachment formation.
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What was the procedure?
60 infants and mums in WC Glasgow, were studied in home every month for 1st year then followed up til infants were 18mths. Researchers did observations+interviews. Attachment measured by assessing separation protest and stranger anxiety.
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What were the findings of the study?
Between 6-8 months 50% of babies showed specific attachment (80% showed this by 10mths). Primary attachments were formed with ppl who showed responsive sensitivity and most babies developed multiple attachments (at 18mths 87% had 2, 31% had 5+).
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What are Schaffer's 4 stages of attachment?
Pre-attachment, indiscriminate attachment, discriminate attachment, multiple attachments.
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What does the pre-attachment stage involve?
Happens from birth-3mths. From 6 weeks infants become more attracted to humans, preferring them to objects. Preference is demonstrated by smiling at people's faces.
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What does the indiscriminate attachment stage involve?
3-7/8 mths, infants start to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar people - smiling more at familiar people. Will allow strangers to look after them.
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What does the discriminate attachment stage involve?
7-8 mths onwards, infants develop specific attachments, staying close to a primary attachment figure and being distressed when being separated from them. They will protest when handled by strangers.
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What does the multiple attachments stage involve?
9mths onwards, infants form attachments with other people, fear of strangers weakens but attachment remains strongest to the mother-figure.
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What is a strength of this study?
The research takes place in a natural setting. The caregiver and infant were observed in their own home and this means that the caregiver and infant will interact in a natural way which increases validity.
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What is one issue to do with the research?
The research is usually observational. There may be observer bias which would limit the validity of the conclusions. May be deal with by using more than one observer and comparing observations (inter-rater).
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What is one practical issue with this research?
Babies spend long periods asleep which can limit the time available for research. Studying the baby when it is not fully awake may decrease the validity of investigation.
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What is an ethical issue of this research?
Protection from harm, confidentiality.
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What did Rutter argue about infants having multiple attachments?
That all attachments are of equal importance.
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What did Bowlby argue about multiple attachments?
Not all attachments are equal and children form a primary attachment with the mother. The father is a secondary figure who acts as an economic provider and playmate.
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Which study links to the idea of fathers being a secondary attachment figure?
Geiger (1996) showed that father's play interactions are more exciting while mother's are more nurturing. Interactions from fathers make greater physical and cognitive demands on children which aids development. Supports idea of fathers as playmates.
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What is one issue with Geiger's study?
Outdated, sexist view and now in many families parents share equal responsibility for childcare.
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Which study looks at fathers being primary attachment figures?
Lamb (1987) found fathers who become main care providers quickly develop more sensitivity to their child's needs which suggests that sensitive responsiveness is not biological.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What are the 3 key features of caregiver-infant interactions?

Back

Reciprocity, interactional synchrony.

Card 3

Front

What is reciprocity?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is interactional synchrony?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Who are the key theorists who study the caregiver - infant interactions?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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